Seasons in the Sun
The Battle for Britain, 1974-1979Book - 2012
In the mid-1970s, Britain's fortunes seemed to have reached their lowest point since the Blitz. As inflation rocketed, the pound collapsed and car bombs exploded across London, as Harold Wilson consoled himself with the brandy bottle, the Treasury went cap in hand to the IMF and the Sex Pistols stormed their way to notoriety, it seemed that the game was up for an exhausted nation. But what was life really like behind the headlines?
In his gloriously colourful new book, Dominic Sandbrook recreates this extraordinary period in all its chaos and contradiction. Behind the lurid news stories, the late 1970s were the decisive point in our recent history. Across the country, a profound argument about the future of the nation was being played out, not just in families and schools but in everything from episodes of Doctor Who to singles by the Clash. These years marked the peak of trade union power and the apogee of an old working-class Britain - but they also saw the birth of home computers, the rise of the ready meal and the triumph of a Grantham grocer's daughter who would change our history forever.
Taking in everything from the European referendum, the IRA terror campaign and the Jeremy Thorpe trial to The Sweeney , The Generation Game and the Bay City Rollers, Sandbrook explores how the post-war consensus collapsed under the weight of globalization, individualism and economic change. The final volume in a magnificent quartet on our post-war experience, Seasons in the Sun could hardly be a richer or more enjoyable book.
'If I were a younger man I'd emigrate.' James Callaghan