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By Andrew Marr

This attractive quantity tells the tale of ways the nice political visions and idealisms of Victorian Britain got here to be defeated via a tradition of consumerism, star, and self-gratification. It explains how in every one decade, political leaders stumbled on themselves confounded through the British humans, who regularly grew to become out to be tougher to herd than anticipated. traditionally Britain has been a rustic at the edge—first of invasion, then of financial ruin, then at the weak entrance line of the chilly battle, and later within the vanguard of the nice establishing up of capital and migration. This background follows all of the political and financial tales of the fashionable period in addition to with such social developments as comedy, autos, the battle opposed to homosexuals, oil-men and punks, Margaret Thatcher’s very good sturdy good fortune, political lies, and the real heroes of British theater.

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National Service involved nearly two million men. The Territorial Army along with the various cadet corps in schools spread military influence far beyond barracks or dockyards. 303 rifles, air displays and the roar of V-bombers and English Electric Lightning fighters in the skies above us. The tone, the fabric, of life in post-war Britain has been more affected by war than perhaps we like to admit. History is either a moral argument with lessons for the here-and-now or it is merely an accumulation of pointless facts.

At the beginning of the Second World War there were some 200 colonies, dominions and possessions connected to London, covering more than 11 million square miles. The Empire embraced Pacific tribesmen and Eskimos, ancient African kingdoms and the rubble of the great Mughal empire, Australian farmers and the gold-miners of South Africa. It ran from the Scottish Highlands to the Antarctic, from the French-speaking villages of Quebec to the mosques of the Middle East. For a comparatively small nation of fewer than 50 million people to have acquired all this might seem a global absurdity, a large joke in the history of humankind.

303 rifles, air displays and the roar of V-bombers and English Electric Lightning fighters in the skies above us. The tone, the fabric, of life in post-war Britain has been more affected by war than perhaps we like to admit. History is either a moral argument with lessons for the here-and-now or it is merely an accumulation of pointless facts. The story of the British in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War is a morally attractive one with much to learn from – a time of optimism and energy, despite apparently crippling difficulties.

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