Bought 12 Sep 2008

This was absolutely brilliant and will be in my top 10 of the year, all books as well as non-fic. Approachable and understandable, covering British history and politics 1945-2007, a time I’ve never studied and didn’t really have a grasp of. I was OK on just post-war stuff but the 60s were a mystery, and the 70s and 80s I remember but obviously didn’t have the context. Marr is strictly non-partisan and presents all the leaders’ successes and failures clearly. His writing style is confident and slightly informal, and he does show his opinions at times.

I realise how much I hark back in my politics and methods to the pre-60s society – careful, prudent, socialist, which I find interesting. Marr’s central premise is that we have turned from a political into a shopping society, and that the cult of possessions and celebrity, forged in the 1960s, is partly what got us into the mess we’re in now (I said partly, don’t all spring at me!). But also he ends on an optimistic note – we have got through recessions, post-war poverty, the nuclear threat etc etc and can get through this one too.

Fascinating stuff and I’m really glad I read it.