Promised You A Miracle: Why 1980-82 Made Modern Britain (Hardback)
  • Promised You A Miracle: Why 1980-82 Made Modern Britain (Hardback)
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Promised You A Miracle: Why 1980-82 Made Modern Britain (Hardback)

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£20.00
Hardback 464 Pages / Published: 03/09/2015
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The early 1980s in Britain were a time of hope, and of dread: of Cold War tension and imminent conflict, when crowds in the street could mean an ecstatic national celebration or an inner-city riot. Here, Andy Beckett recreates an often misunderstood moment of transition, with all its potential and uncertainty: the first precarious years of Margaret Thatcher's government. By the end of 1982, the country was changing, leaving the kinder, more sluggish postwar Britain decisively behind, and becoming the country we have lived in ever since: assertive, commercially driven, outward-looking, often harsher than its neighbours.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781846145155
Number of pages: 464
Weight: 740 g
Dimensions: 241 x 163 x 39 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
As the present government turns daily to the early 80s playbook, Andy Beckett's Promised You a Miracle, a rich survey of those troubled years, could not be more timely. Most innovative, if uncomfortable, is his teasing out of what he calls "secret Thatcherites", which included many readers of this paper -- David Kynaston, Guardian 'Books of the Year'
Andy Beckett's Promised You a Miracle took us back to the first three years of [the 80s], showing how the new individualist zeitgeist extended deep even into those parts of society most opposed to Thatcherism -- Financial Times, 'Books of the Year'
An anthology of an age . . . A book that offers so much pleasure and insight -- Ian Jack * Guardian *
A lucid account ... Andy Beckett writes with vivid, even-handed clarity in this excellent book -- Sean O'Brien * Times Literary Supplement *
Austin Metros and Chariots of Fire, cricket balls and petrol bombs, Sloane Rangers and Boys from the Blackstuff . . . Andy Beckett's lively and even-handed account of two years in the life of modern Britons is bracingly anti-nostalgic. Focusing sharply on key players and events, he teases out the paradoxes of those sharp-elbowed and irony-free times, and leaves the reader with provoking questions about how we got here from there -- Hilary Mantel
Promised You a Miracle is intelligent, entertaining, readable, convincing and timely. It is history well told and properly done -- Daniel Finkelstein * The Times *
Beckett is a lucid, focussed writer . . . There is a wry, shrewd humanity to his historical interests -- Richard Davenport-Hines * Observer *
A breezy and very intelligent anatomy of the years 1980-82 . . . This is not conventional political history - and is all the better for it. Beckett is as interested in the flowering of independent television production companies and the regeneration of London's Docklands as he is in monetarism, the Falklands War and the assault on the trade unions -- Jonathan Derbyshire * Prospect *
[A] gripping mixture of contemporary history and vivid reportage -- John Campbell * Independent *
Those who lived through the early eighties - who spent all that time wondering what the hell was going to happen next - will enjoy Beckett's work because it validates what at times seemed like a waking dream, or sometimes a waking nightmare. For those too young, the book is valuable as a reminder that there were other times in recent history when it seemed everything was beginning to slide -- Jamie Kenny * Big Issue *
Beckett has a fine eye for detail -- Andrew Neather * Evening Standard *
[Beckett] mixes history, journalism and autobiography. He has a strong sense of place -- Richard Vinen * Literary Review *
The appeal of Beckett's book is that he succeeds in showing rather than merely telling us why his chosen period was pivotal in the life of the nation. For those who lived through all the turbulence, as I did, it reawakens memories and helps reconnect you with the person you once were. For those who did not, or who cannot remember, it recounts well how an old nation roused itself from slumber and dared to change the course on which it seemed set -- Jason Cowley * New Statesman *

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