All In It Together
‘He writes with a tremendous sense of fun. The result is a rare thing: not just a serious work of contemporary history, but an unashamed, 24-carat hoot’ – Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
‘Up there with the best … Reading it is almost like an out-of-body experience’ – Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
Perhaps the Brexit vote shouldn’t have come as such a shock. In Cool Britannia’s long hangover, every pillar of British society seemed to sink into a mire of its own making, from the Church to the banks to the great offices of state. Even the BBC lost its reassuring dignity (though the private schools were doing rather well: their former pupils were everywhere). We were losing our faith in the system. How did it come to this?
Weaving politics and popular culture into a mesmerising tapestry, historian Alwyn Turner tells the definitive story of the Blair, Brown and Cameron years. Some details may trigger a laugh of recognition (the spectre of bird flu; the electoral machinations of Robert Kilroy-Silk). Others are so surreal you could be forgiven for blocking them out first time around (did Peter Mandelson really enlist a Candomble witch doctor to curse Gordon Brown’s press secretary?). The deepest patterns, however, only reveal themselves at a certain distance. Through the Iraq War and the 2008 crash, the rebirth of light entertainment and the rise of the ‘problematic’, Turner shows how the crisis in the soul of a nation played out in its daily dramas and nightly distractions.
Up there with the best ... Reading it is almost like an out-of-body experience, in which you realise that your life and times will one day be as ancient to others as the Neolithic period is to us ... All In It Together zings along with such telltale facts and figures, often with an injection of black humour ... Wonderfully shrewd ... Brilliant -- Craig Brown * Mail on Sunday * Hugely engaging ... Turner's genius lies in finding the odd little stories that get under the nation's skin and reveal what people were really thinking ... He writes with a tremendous sense of fun. The result is a rare thing: not just a serious work of contemporary history, but an unashamed, 24-carat hoot -- Dominic Sandbrook * Sunday Times * Reading Alwyn Turner's account of life in the first two decades of the 21st century is a bit like trying to recall a dream from three nights ago. The theme and the mood feel uncannily familiar, but the details are downright implausible ... His great skill lies in spotting themes that we might have missed the first time around -- Kathryn Hughes * Guardian * Astute and entertaining -- Philip Johnston * Telegraph * Turner may be an anorak, but he is an acutely intelligent anorak -- Francis Wheen * New Statesman * Turner's seductive blend of political analysis, social reportage and cultural immersion puts him wonderfully at ease with his readers -- David Kynaston
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