A rollicking history of England in the twenty-first century, All In It Together takes in austerity, Brexit and coronavirus alongside Lily Allen, the Olympics and The Great British Bake Off in a breathless and pacey narrative.
'Brilliant: capacious and thoughtful and enormously entertaining' - Dominic Sandbrook
Perhaps the Brexit vote shouldn't have come as such a shock. In Cool Britannia's long hangover, every pillar of British society seemed to sink into a mire of its own making, from the Church to the banks to the great offices of state. Even the BBC lost its reassuring dignity (though the private schools were doing rather well: their former pupils were everywhere). We were losing our faith in the system. How did it come to this?
Weaving politics and popular culture into a mesmerising tapestry, historian Alwyn Turner tells the definitive story of the Blair, Brown and Cameron years. Some details may trigger a laugh of recognition (the spectre of bird flu; the electoral machinations of Robert Kilroy-Silk). Others are so surreal you could be forgiven for blocking them out first time around (did Peter Mandelson really enlist a Candomble witch doctor to curse Gordon Brown's press secretary?). The deepest patterns, however, only reveal themselves at a certain distance. Through the Iraq War and the 2008 crash, the rebirth of light entertainment and the rise of the 'problematic', Turner shows how the crisis in the soul of a nation played out in its daily dramas and nightly entertainments. On Downing Street as on Benefits Street, this is what the road to Brexit was paved with.
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 611 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 35 mm
Hugely engaging ... splendidly readable ... Turner's genius lies in finding the odd little stories that get under the nation's skin and reveal what people were really thinking. And he is brilliant, in particular, on popular culture, devoting pages to detective novels and cookery shows ... he writes with a tremendous sense of fun. The result is a rare thing: not just a serious work of contemporary history, but an unashamed, 24-carat hoot -- Dominic Sandbrook * Sunday Times *
Praise for Alwyn Turner:
'A master of the telling detail ... Ravenously inquisitive, darkly comical and coolly undeceived -- Craig Brown * Mail on Sunday *
Tremendously entertaining... The stories are just so good -- Dominic Sandbrook * Sunday Times *
Turner may be an anorak, but he is an acutely intelligent anorak -- Francis Wheen * New Statesman *
Turner's seductive blend of political analysis, social reportage and cultural immersion puts him wonderfully at ease with his readers -- David Kynaston
A natural storyteller -- Irvine Welsh * Daily Telegraph *
A canter through the past 20 years of English history ... Serves as a reminder of the ephemerality of so much in culture and politics [in] breezy prose -- Quentin Letts * Times *