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Never Had It So Good
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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. In this strikingly impressive debut, he combines academic verve and insight with colourful, dramatic writing to produce a classic, ground-breaking work that will change forever how we think about the Sixties.
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* Ongoing author PR to include media interviews and appearances at literary festivals * Advertising in BBC History magazine * Reading copies available

About the Author

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 taught history at the University of Sheffield and is currently a fellow of the Rothermere Institute at Oxford.

Reviews

'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 rightly, that this was a period of uneven and gradual change rather than a revolution' 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 'With a novelist's skill, the historian picks his way through the unfolding drama of Profumo, simultaneously showing Britain on the cusp of moving from a society stulified by class and privilege to one based for the first time on merit.' DAILY MAIL 'Sandbrook's breadth of research is stunning and his enthusiasm ensures that this book is impossible to put down.' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'There are bound to be many more books on the 1960s, but few will be as well-structured, well-written of intelligent as this.' COUNTRY LIFE 'Witty and intriguing.' SUNDAY INDEPENDENT '[A] splendidly chunky social history.' SCOTSMAN 'The author's ambition is to strip the mythology away from the Sixties, to steer a course between eulogising the period as a unique liberation of Britain and damning it as destroying the country's traditions. It is a goal he achieves in some style, to the extent that it is hard to imagine this book, with its 750-plus close-typed pages, being toppled from its perch as the best-value publication of the year.' OBSERVER

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