Friday, December 2, 2011
Book Review: Crisis? What Crisis?: Britain in the 1970s (2008) by Alwyn W. Turner
On the social history side, Turner provides a skim reading of British popular culture of the 1970s. Everything from David Bowie to Confessions of movies to the travails of the National Theatre are referenced and commented upon. It's all interesting, and a bit of a trip down memory lane for people of a certain age, but Turner doesn't bring a whole lot of insight to the party. For example, he doesn't comment or notice on the sea change in British comedy in that decade, which began with films like Carry On Up the Jungle and ended with The Life of Brian.
I'd recommend this book on basis of its strength as a political history, but keep in mind that when it comes to the role of unions in British society it's pretty much analysis-free. The social history aspect of the book is OK, but it's far from insightful.