Hope and Glory : A People's History of Modern Britain, Paperback Book

Hope and Glory : A People's History of Modern Britain Paperback

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


In Hope and Glory Stuart Maconie goes in search of the days that shaped the Britain we live in today.

Taking one event from each decade of the 20th century, he visits the places where history happened and still echoes down the years.

Stuart goes to Orgreave and Windsor, Wembley and Wootton Bassett, assembling a unique cast of Britons from Sir Edmund Hillary to Sid Vicious along the way. It's quite a trip, full of sex and violence and the occasional scone and jigsaw.

From pop stars to politicians, Suffragettes to punks, this is a journey around Britain in search of who we are.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • ISBN: 9780091926496

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This books has an interesting surmise, he takes one event in each decade and proposes how that has shaped us as a nation. That one date then spawns a further discussion and related events and he visits the relevant locations to see what traces remain. I thought this a little more patchy than some of his other books; I suppose by nature of the way the book is organised it was always potential for that to happen. I think that in this book his politics colour the text more than I have noticed it doing in earlier books. So in the 90s, he rejoices at the Labour election, while bemoaning the fact that politics is, once again, the preserve of the elite and the privately educated. While he mentions that the 4 previous Prime Ministers had been from working class stock, he fails to note that they had also all been Grammar school educated - an educational option Labour have done their best to bring down. Architects of their own demise, one could say. Although I do agree with him that it is a retrograde step. I liked the way that he visits the places to see the location for himself. I also like the way that the event in the decade is not looked at in isolation - it is compared and contrasted to events in earlier and later decades, looking at the echoes that ripple through history. And, best of all, I like the way that his day from the 80s is Live Aid. I know where I was on 13July 1985. I watched the entire thing on the TV, and I do remember it being a scorcher. 12 noon until the wee small hours. Dad stayed up with me to watch. It is, for me and my generation, one of those memorable moments; we know where we were, we watched it and it marked us. I was only allowed to stay up that late if I was doing something useful. At the time my parents made toys and they would save the off cuts of material to be cut into small pieces to be used to stuff the toys. It used to be called "cutting scraps" and there were always scraps to cut. Well I know that I finished cutting every last scrap we had long before it finished. Some reviewers have mentioned a lack of accuracy, but I would dispute that it is error strewn. Possibly they had been corrected in the paperback edition I read, but those mentioned in other reviewers seemed correct to me (and I don't care if he got the footie facts wrong). Not, maybe, his best work.

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