Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hope and Glory by Stuart Maconie reviewed

I haven't actually read all of Stuart Maconie's book on the history of our times. I gave my copy to a visiting American businessman I met last week in the fond hope it will inspire him to promote the North of England to his countrymen.

It's better than his last two, even though it's very similar. The format is more structured, he picks a day each decade and uses that to describe the themes that emerged, weaving a readable and modern social history. I'd just got up to 1977 and the Silver Jubilee and the birth of punk. The days themselves are interesting choices, the birth of TV, the docking of the Windrush, the World Cup final in 1966. The best, I felt, was the choice of the conquest of Everest in the 1950s.

For all that more rigid attempts at structure, anyone who enjoyed Pies and Prejudice would still recognise his penchant for rambling anecdotes and touching tangents.

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