Read e-book online A History of Modern Britain PDF

By Andrew Marr

ISBN-10: 0330511475

ISBN-13: 9780330511476

This enticing quantity tells the tale of ways the nice political visions and idealisms of Victorian Britain got here to be defeated through a tradition of consumerism, big name, and self-gratification. It explains how in every one decade, political leaders discovered themselves confounded by way of the British humans, who consistently became out to be more durable to herd than envisioned. traditionally Britain has been a rustic at the edge—first of invasion, then of financial ruin, then at the weak entrance line of the chilly struggle, and later within the vanguard of the good starting up of capital and migration. This historical past follows all of the political and financial tales of the fashionable period in addition to with such social traits as comedy, vehicles, the struggle opposed to homosexuals, oil-men and punks, Margaret Thatcher’s really good stable good fortune, political lies, and the real heroes of British theater.

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Attlee and Greenwood, however, were solid for fighting on and for refusing to negotiate or surrender. So by a squeak Churchill had his majority. Fortified by this, his mood revived and he quickly summoned the full cabinet, where in true Churchillian English he told them: ‘I am convinced that every man of you would rise up and tear me down from my place if I were for one moment to contemplate parley or surrender. ’ Or that at least is how he recorded it later. Ministers jumped up, shouting approval and thumped the old man on the back.

In this, he stands for an ancient tradition of English writing, running back through Thomas Hardy, Kipling and Chesterton, right the way to the poets of Jacobean times. The real England is green, remote, local, wild, ancient and with a wisdom of her own. Perhaps, as well as being a little late, he was just in time, for this was before the urbanites had moved in and finally finished off the traditions that reached back to the Middle Ages. His tour matters because it stands for an idea of Britain which keeps its hold on many people well into the post-war period.

His tour matters because it stands for an idea of Britain which keeps its hold on many people well into the post-war period. His book was hugely popular, capturing post-industrial rural Britain before our current economy of supermarkets and super-roads finally killed it off during the seventies and eighties. Looking for quaintness, Morton finds it everywhere, from old gallows left on remote hills, to ladies taking tea in ancient church premises. He finds the ‘Furry’, or floral, dancers of Helston in Cornwall, jigging in their top hats, flint-chippers in Norfolk, the last almshouse in England and even the last bowl-turner, making wooden bowls with Anglo-Saxon technology.

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A History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr

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