Listed as one of the Books of the Year in the
Sunday Times and New Statesman
'this splendid book' – Sunday Times
'entertaining, insightful and wide-ranging' – Daily Mail
'dazzling overview of a demonized decade' – Mojo
'resolutely entertaining' – Metro
'indispensible' – Mail on Sunday
'a vivid and enjoyable guide to these turbulent years' – BBC History
It was an era of mass unemployment, riots, royal weddings, Greenham Common, the Falklands War, the miners' strike, Live Aid, Wapping, entrepreneurs, yuppies, Clause 28, the poll tax...
When Margaret Thatcher became prime minister in 1979, she promised to bring harmony where once there had been discord, but Britain in the 1980s was a deeply divided society. After the crises that had brought the country to a standstill in the previous decade, a war raged over the direction of the nation.
Thatcher's vision clashed with those of Tony Benn, Ken Livingstone and the SDP, but theirs were not the only voices. For the conflict did not stay confined to Westminster, but spilt over into a cultural war with police chiefs, comedians, pop stars, even the Church of England, all making their contribution.
At stake were the souls of the great population boom of the early and mid 1960s. The future lay in the hands of the most populous generation in British history. Would they buy into the deregulated, free-market, patriotic agenda of Thatcherism, or the anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-war attitudes of the new left?
From council house sales to championship snooker, from global warming to acid house, Alwyn W. Turner's Rejoice! Rejoice!, the sequel to the acclaimed Crisis? What Crisis? Britain in the 1970s, explores 1980s Britain's spectrum of social discord from high politics through to low culture. Norman Tebbit, Edwina Currie and Roy Jenkins rub shoulders with Ben Elton, Inspector Morse and Stock, Aitken and Waterman in this superbly intelligent account of the making of modern Britain.
Britain in the 1980s
by Alwyn W Turner
published by Aurum Press, May 2010