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The Making of Modern Britain: From Queen Victoria to V.E. Day: 1

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The Making of Modern Britain: From Queen Victoria to V.E. Day: 1

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    Available in PDF Format | The Making of Modern Britain: From Queen Victoria to V.E. Day: 1.pdf | English
    Andrew Marr(Author)

In The Making of Modern Britain, Andrew Marr paints a fascinating portrait of life in Britain during the first half of the twentieth century as the country recovered from the grand wreckage of the British Empire.

Between the death of Queen Victoria and the end of the Second World War, the nation was shaken by war and peace. The two wars were the worst we had ever known and the episodes of peace among the most turbulent and surprising. As the political forum moved from Edwardian smoking rooms to an increasingly democratic Westminster, the people of Britain experimented with extreme ideas as they struggled to answer the question ‘How should we live?’ Socialism? Fascism? Feminism? Meanwhile, fads such as eugenics, vegetarianism and nudism were gripping the nation, while the popularity of the music hall soared. It was also a time that witnessed the birth of the media as we know it today and the beginnings of the welfare state.

Beyond trenches, flappers and Spitfires, this is a story of strange cults and economic madness, of revolutionaries and heroic inventors, sexual experiments and raucous stage heroines. From organic food to drugs, nightclubs and celebrities to package holidays, crooked bankers to sleazy politicians, the echoes of today's Britain ring from almost every page.

'The book is lively, readable and engaging . . . vivid character studies and colourful vignettes, some of cinematic brilliance . . . Marr has an enviable ability to unravel complex issues and expound them in simple terms. He possesses a sharp radical edge and often goes to the heart of the matter . . . Marr can also be genuinely funny . . . an acute eye for details that puts the past in perspective . . . Marr's analyses are lucid . . . He sums up historical debates adeptly' --Guardian

3.3 (11927)
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Book details

  • PDF | 464 pages
  • Andrew Marr(Author)
  • Macmillan; 1st edition, 1st impression edition (2 Oct. 2009)
  • English
  • 2
  • History
Read online or download a free book: The Making of Modern Britain: From Queen Victoria to V.E. Day: 1

Review Text

  • By Mr C. on 26 August 2017

    Great series

  • By Timbo on 10 September 2017

    Fascinating and ideal follow up to the TV series

  • By S. D. Szwer on 1 May 2017

    Great potted history of modern Brittain, exploring themes as well facts. I waited a while to get hold of this 5 CD set at a decent price but it was worth the wait! Because its written & narrated by Andrew Marr the politics is interesting and well explained, told in his clear & concise way. Enjoyed it very much and will listen to it again. Bravo to the Vendor for offering at a great price.

  • By father2 on 18 November 2009

    Andrew Marr is the kind of person you wish had been your History teacher at school. Many people view history as a dry subject, boring at best and downright death inducing at worst. But history, as presented by Mr Marr, comes alive and throbs with vitality. This book, following on from his previous one, covers the period from the start of the twentieth century right up until the end of the Second World War. During that time there is a wealth of history waiting to be discovered and many things will amaze you.Sadly though Andrew Marr has at times been sloppy with his facts. For example Mr Marr rightly claims that Queen Victoria was born in 1819 and became Queen in 1837, but mistakenly states that Queen Victoria was twenty when she became Queen, when in fact she had turned eighteen less than a month previously. When you find errors like this it tends to undermine your confidence in the facts being presented overall throughout the book. Some proof reading would have served Mr Marr well, one feels.But that said this is a very good book, filled with a wealth of history that is easy to read and even more easy to understand. It is not dry history, but is alive and helps us to understand the path our country took to arrive in our modern times. Along the way you will learn about Edwardians, World War One, the General Strike, Depression and of course the road to further conflict during World War Two.Personally I love history and read a lot of books on the subject. But this book will appeal to people on a much wider scale and reading through it's pages won't make you feel as though you are back in a boring history lesson. Rather you will feel like a tourist travelling through time soaking up what our grandparents and great grandparents experienced during their lives.

  • By Free Radical on 16 May 2011

    This is a joint review together with Marr's 'The History of Modern Britain', the companion volume which deals with the post-war history of the UK.First, the good points. Marr is a very engaging writer with a good eye for an anecdote. Both books are rich in period detail and cover areas (for example, the rise and fall of the music hall) which aren't usually dealt with in general histories of this period. He also has a neat way of starting with something small (a minor incident, a now forgotten personality) and using that as the introduction to a far bigger picture, tying the personal or incidental to more familiar historical themes. This makes them perfect bedside books - you'll find yourself dipping into them for the pleasure of spending an hour or so in Marr's company.And the bad? The fact that they are perfect bedtime reading means that they are pretty undemanding and, at times, superficial; the two world wars, for example, are cantered through with indecent haste. Similarly, there is no original research; no-one with a passing knowledge of 20th century British history will learn anything new here. And, as others have noted, they also contain quite a few factual errors. Some readers might notice a bit of political bias, too (Marr cheerfully admits to being a "raving Lefty" as a student) and there are bits - the rise of the trade unions, for example, or 1960s counter-culture - which read as if Marr never really left the editor's chair at the Independent.However, if you accept that Marr is a journalist rather than a historian and that these are essentially tv tie-ins (albeit top-notch ones) rather than History-with-a-capital-H then you'll find plenty to enjoy. Recommended.

  • By John Smith on 1 April 2010

    It was interesting to see other reviews call this "more interesting than dry history lessons". As an A level history student, I have to disagree with that view, because history is the best subject in the world, but it has a good point.This book is, like the TV series, broken down into exciting and intriguing little episodes of the first half of the 20th century. Although the book lacks real detail and fluency, the personal nature of the tiny chapters makes them more 'real' and interesting. The big downside for me was Marr's sweeping authoritative generalisations, which are so common you get used to them. There is, to this reader, a lot of simplification. But if you accept that this is a casual story being told by a journalist and not a historian, you can get into it. As well as all the key British events of the early 20th century which (if you're anything like me!) you feel you should know about, the book also has some more unusual tales, such as that of the mad Mitford sisters. There were a few bits on literature and architecture which I skipped, but the majority of the book was very enjoyable. In particular, the fascinating personalities of David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill came across more than they would have done if they were mere characters in a proper history book.

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