As with Hattersley's THE EDWARDIANS, this is a brilliant, masterly and richly detailed reassessment of the social and political landscape of a pivotal period - the interwar years.
Called an uneasy peace, the twenty years between the wars were a time of turmoil - Britain saw a general strike and the worst economic crisis in its history, armed rebellion in Ireland and open revolt in India, a Prime Minister s resignation and the King s abdication. Crisis followed crisis until Britain was engulfed in the Second World War - a catastrophe that could have been foreseen, possibly even prevented. But there were also moments of triumph: England regained the Ashes and Britain ran to glory in the Chariots of Fire Olympic Games; the BBC was born and became the envy of the free world; there was a renaissance in poetry, sculpture of genius, and cinema lightened the darkness for millions. However it is the politicians who failed who have really come to personify the interwar years - in particular Ramsey MacDonald and Stanley Baldwin. Both prime ministers were better men than history allows. And Winston Churchill? Right or wrong, success or failure, he is the irrepressible force in what he called the 'years for the locusts to eat'. Hattersley's assessment of this doomed era is illuminating, entertaining and bold.
Interesting, thoughtful, well-written . . . Hattersley's description of the real meaning of poverty in the 30s is masterly - GUARDIAN
Hattersley brings freshness and clarity to his account of the 1920s and 1930s - HERALD
Beautifully written and wonderfully readable - SUNDAY TRIBUNE
Hattersley is excellent at depicting the social and cultural aspects of Britain between the wars - EXPRESS
A vigorous, well-paced account of two turbulent decades for Britain and her people. Hattersley's Hatterisms . . . Inject an entertaining, even ribald note into an otherwise grim story - SPECTATOR
Information about what happened in public life is packaged with Hattersley's accustomed efficiency and clarity - NEW STATESMAN