Saturday, 21 October 2017

Hope and Glory by Stuart Maconie

Hope and Glory by Stuart Maconie
First published in the UK by Ebury Press in May 2011.

I registered my copy of this book at BookCrossing

Where to buy this book:

How I got this book:
Swapped for on the book exchange shelves at Camping Sopalmo, Spain.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Hope and Glory Stuart Maconie goes in search of the days that shaped the Britain we live in today. Taking one event from each decade of the 20th century, he visits the places where history happened and still echoes down the years. Stuart goes to Orgreave and Windsor, Wembley and Wootton Bassett, assembling a unique cast of Britons from Sir Edmund Hillary to Sid Vicious along the way.

It’s quite a trip, full of sex and violence and the occasional scone and jigsaw. From pop stars to politicians, Suffragettes to punks, this is a journey around Britain in search of who we are.

A very different history book to Elizabeth by David Starkey which I read shortly before this. Hope And Glory reads more like an informative chat than a serious lesson although I'm yet to see if this approach is more successful in making information stick in my brain. Maconie has chosen 10 significant days in 20th century Britain as jumping off points to discuss a wide range of topics that influenced our popular culture. Politicians and Royals get a look in but he concentrates more on the input of ordinary citizens from Suffragettes to Live Aid viewers. I like the humour in this book, particularly Maconie's scathing remarks on contemporary chav and celebrity Britain, and I discovered common ground in our shared loves of walking and toasted teacakes. However, although I usually ignore them, for once an index would have been helpful. Several mentioned places inspired me to visit them, but I now have to read through again with notepad in hand to find out the wheres and whys.

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Stuart Maconie / History / Books from England

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