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Never Had It So Good: A History of Britain from Suez to the Beatles

Dominic Sandbrook

4 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, History

A fresh, enlightening and comprehensive history of Britain in the early 1960s by a supremely talented young historian.

In 1956 the Suez Crisis finally shattered the old myths of the British Empire and paved the way for the tumultuous changes of the decades to come. In NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD, Dominic Sandbrook takes a fresh look at the dramatic story of affluence and decline between 1956 and 1963. Arguing that historians have until now been besotted by the supposed cultural revolution of the Sixties, Sandbrook re-examines the myths of this controversial period and paints a more complicated picture of a society caught between conservatism and change. He explores the growth of a modern consumer society, the impact of immigration, the invention of modern pop music and the British retreat from empire. He tells the story of the colourful characters of the period, like Harold Macmillan, Kingsley Amis and Paul McCartney, and brings to life the experience of the first post-imperial generation, from the Notting Hill riots to the first Beatles hits, from the Profumo scandal to the cult of James Bond.

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Praise for Never Had It So Good: A History of Britain from Suez to the Beatles

  • A clever and engaging study of Britain as it prepared to swing into the sixties. Never Had It So Good is very good indeed - Amanda Foreman

  • A wonderful book -- a most accomplished, readable and convincing tour through seven years from Suez to Beatlemania. It is refreshing because it probes beneath the surface of events, dissolving many of the myths of the sixties and suggesting, quite rightl - Lawrence James

  • Unforgettable vignettes and revelations in this prodigious and ground-breaking study of British life. - SUNDAY TIMES

  • It is a tribute to Sandbrook's literary skill that his scholarship is never oppressive. Alternately delightful and enlightening, he has produced a book that must have been an enormous labour to write but is a treat to read. - OBSERVER

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Dominic Sandbrook

Dominic Sandbrook is set to lead the next generation of narrative historians. Born in Shropshire in 1974 and educated at Oxford, St. Andrews and Cambridge, he is currently Lecturer in History at the University of Sheffield.

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