Author(s): Dominic Sandbrook
This is the book behind the major new BBC2 series "The Seventies". "If I were a younger man I would emigrate". (James Callaghan)...In the mid-1970s, Britain's fortunes seemed to have reached their lowest point since the Blitz. As inflation rocketed, the pound collapsed and car bombs exploded across London, as Harold Wilson consoled himself with the brandy bottle, the Treasury went cap in hand to the IMF and the Sex Pistols stormed their way to notoriety, it seemed that the game was up for an exhausted nation. But what was life really like behind the headlines? In his gloriously colourful new book, Dominic Sandbrook recreates this extraordinary period in all its chaos and contradiction, revealing it as a decisive point in our recent history. Across the country, a profound argument about the future of the nation was being played out, not just in families and schools but in everything from episodes of "Doctor Who" to singles by the Clash. These years saw the peak of trade union power and the apogee of an old working-class Britain - but also the birth of home computers, the rise of the ready meal and the triumph of the Grantham grocer's daughter who would change our history forever.
Sandbrook has created a specific style of narrative history, blending high politics, social change and popular culture ... always readable and assured ... Anyone who genuinely believes we have never been so badly governed should read this splendid book -- Stephen Robinson Sunday Times [Sandbrook] has a remarkable ability to turn a sow's ear into a sulk purse. His subject is depressing, but the book itself is a joy ... [it] benefits from an exceptional cast of characters ... As a storyteller, Sandbrook is, without doubt, superb ... [he] is an engaging history capable of impressive insight ... When discussing politics, Sandbrook is masterful ... Seasons in the Sun is a familiar story, yet seldom has it been told with such verve -- Gerard Degroot Seven [A] brilliant historian ... I had never fully appreciated what a truly horrible period it was until reading Sandbrook ... You can see all these strange individuals - Thatcher, Rotten, Larkin, Benn - less as free agents expressing their own thoughts, than as the inevitable consequence of the economic and political decline which Sandbrook so skilfully depicts -- A. N. Wilson Spectator Nuanced ... Sandbrook has rummaged deep into the cultural life of the era to remind us how rich it was, from Bowie to Dennis Potter, Martin Amis to William Golding -- Damian Whitworth The Times Sharply and fluently written ... entertaining ... By making you quite nostalgic for the present, Sandbrook has done a public service Evening Standard
Born in Shropshire ten days before the October 1974 election, Dominic Sandbrook was educated at Oxford, St Andrews and Cambridge. He is the author of three hugely acclaimed books on post-war Britain: Never Had It So Good, White Heat and State of Emergency, and two books on modern American history, Eugene McCarthy and Mad as Hell. A prolific reviewer and columnist, he writes regularly for the Sunday Times, Daily Mail, New Statesman and BBC History.