By Andrew Marr

This attractive quantity tells the tale of the way the good political visions and idealisms of Victorian Britain got here to be defeated via a tradition of consumerism, famous person, and self-gratification. It explains how in every one decade, political leaders stumbled on themselves confounded via the British humans, who continually 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 disaster, then at the susceptible entrance line of the chilly warfare, and later within the leading edge of the good starting up of capital and migration. This background follows the entire political and financial tales of the trendy period in addition to with such social traits as comedy, autos, the warfare opposed to homosexuals, oil-men and punks, Margaret Thatcher’s excellent strong good fortune, political lies, and the real heroes of British theater.

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A Western economy based on high debt, both private and public, ensured cash was there to keep the spree going. But the intricate and always-shifting tangle of loans, bets, guesses and 80-proof, chill-filtered optimism that is modern global finance, was about to suffer a reality check. And if ‘reality check’ is an ugly American phrase, then it is perhaps not as ugly as another which entered the Queen’s English in 2007. ‘Sub prime’ is jargon for bad loans – the mortgages and other pricey money offers to ordinary Americans who had no proper security and in many cases no way of paying it back.

Any person who does any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages. A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. com to read more about all our books and to buy them. You will also find features, author interviews and news of any author events, and you can sign up for e-newsletters so that you’re always first to hear about our new releases. Contents Introduction to the Paperback Edition Prologue Part One HUNGER AND PRIDE: BRITAIN AFTER THE WAR Part Two THE LAND OF LOST CONTENT Part Three HAROLD, TED AND JIM: WHEN THE MODERN FAILED Part Four THE BRITISH REVOLUTION Part Five NIPPY METRO PEOPLE: BRITAIN FROM 1990 Notes Index Acknowledgements Introduction to the Paperback Edition One Year On A year has passed since this book was first published in hardback.

When it was all over, and before Churchill was voted out of power, the Parliament of 1945 was the same one elected in 1935, a Commons frozen from another time. Deference and respect for the Royal Family, belief in the superiority of the white man, a complacent assumption that British manufacturing was still best . . all that survived seemingly unaltered through the years of danger. Britain still believed herself to be in her imperial heyday, mistress of the seas. Though we think of it as essentially Victorian, the British Empire, declaring itself the first ‘world state’ had continued to grow right up until the mid-thirties.

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