State of Emergency: The Way We Were: Britain, 1970-1974

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Penguin Books Limited, May 26, 2011 - History - 768 pages
2 Reviews

The book behind the major new BBC2 series The Seventies

In the early 1970s, Britain seemed to be tottering on the brink of the abyss. Under Edward Heath, the optimism of the Sixties had become a distant memory. Now the headlines were dominated by strikes and blackouts, unemployment and inflation. As the world looked on in horrified fascination, Britain seemed to be tearing itself apart. And yet, amid the gloom, glittered a creativity and cultural dynamism that would influence our lives long after the nightmarish Seventies had been forgotten.

In this brilliant new history, Dominic Sandbrook recreates the gaudy, schizophrenic atmosphere of the early Seventies: the world of Enoch Powell and Tony Benn, David Bowie and Brian Clough, Germaine Greer and Mary Whitehouse. An age when the unions were on the march and the socialist revolution seemed at hand, but also when feminism, permissiveness, pornography and environmentalism were transforming the lives of millions. It was an age of miners' strikes, tower blocks and IRA atrocities, but it also gave us celebrity footballers and high-street curry houses, organic foods and package holidays, gay rights and glam rock.

For those who remember the days when you could buy a new colour television but power cuts stopped you from watching it, this book could hardly be more vivid. It is the perfect guide to a luridly colourful Seventies landscape that shaped our present from the financial boardroom to the suburban bedroom.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Eyejaybee - LibraryThing

Dominic Sandbrook has that happy knack of combining his considerable scholarship with accessibility. This large book is actually merely the first instalment of what would have been an immense book ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - paperlesspages - LibraryThing

This isn't a straight book about politics, it covers the upheaval and troubled years of the early 1970's but also pop culture, TV and environmental issues. It jumps about though events but this didn't ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Dominic Sandbrook was born in Shropshire in 1974, an indirect result of the Heath government's three-day week giving couples more leisure time. He is now a prolific reviewer and commentator, writing regularly for the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Sunday Times. He is the author of two hugely acclaimed books on Britain in the Fifties and Sixties, Never Had It So Good and White Heat.

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