A History of Modern Britain (3 stars)

Andrew Marr

A History of Modern Britain (Macmillan)


The cynical and lazy may wonder what would be the point of purchasing 600 pages by Andrew Marr telling us about the development of Britain since 1945 when his simultaneous TV documentary series will do the same thing. But with more pictures. Yet, this would do a disservice to Marr’s concise yet entertaining prose style which never fails to get across his boyish excitement about the world of politics while managing to squeeze complicated economic theory or social policy into a nutshell without being patronising.

And after all, such a book is built for dipping into and choosing a particular era’s drama. While this thunderous tome is largely impressive, the result is a history told from a distinctly establishment view, witnessing the past through the eyes of those in the frontline of government or the official parliamentary opposition, and rather ignoring the vital role played by those who battered away at the fringes of political life.

(Brian Donaldson)

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