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A Northern Wind


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The early sixties in Britain told as only David Kynaston ('the most entertaining historian alive' Spectator) can: running from 1962 to 1965, A Northern Wind is the anticipated next volume in Kynaston’s landmark ‘Tales of a New Jerusalem’ series

About the Author

David Kynaston is a professional historian and author. He has written a four-volume history of the City of London as well as a history of the Bank of England. His continuing history of post-war Britain, 'Tales of a New Jerusalem', has so far comprised Austerity Britain, Family Britain, Modernity Britain and On the Cusp. His most recent three books have been Arlott, Swanton and the Soul of English Cricket (with Stephen Fay); Engines of Privilege: Britain’s Private School Problem (with Francis Green); and Shots in the Dark: A Diary of Saturday Dreams and Strange Times.


From Daleks and dingy tower blocks to nuclear threats, this addictively readable book charts dizzying change . . . To readers addicted to David Kynaston’s mighty chronicle of Britain’s history since 1945, this collage, sometimes moving, often comic, always fascinating, will seem reassuringly familiar. Once again he weaves diaries, newspapers, TV listings and sports fixtures into a vast, multi-coloured tapestry, depicting almost every conceivable aspect of our national life . . . As always in Kynaston’s series, dizzying change jostles with profound continuity . . . His tireless research turns up plenty of gems . . . It's the perfect note, democratic and hopeful, on which to end the latest instalment of this terrific series. I can't wait for the next
*Sunday Times*

With a beady but compassionate eye, Kynaston ranges over public records and private diaries, political speeches and TV interviews, in conjuring this fresco of the panoramic and the intimate . . . Much of it chimes weirdly with our present moment . . . It is characteristic of Kynaston to present such opposing views and somehow to harmonise them. He is the most humane and even-handed chronicler of our time, and the one best qualified to carry this mightily compelling national story onwards

As in the earlier volumes of this vivid history of postwar Britain, Kynaston’s primary aim is to document “a ceaseless pageant as, in all its daily variousness, it moves through time”. This he achieves with a breathtaking array of treasures: diaries, provincial newspapers, political speeches, films and novels are woven together to provide a kaleidoscope of contrasting perspectives, defying any attempt to create a neat story of progress or nationhood . . . This is a richly evocative, thought-provoking and, above all, compassionate study of those who lived through the much-mythologised 1960s. We can only hope that when historians write about our own times, they will extend the same generosity of spirit

The latest volume in a magisterial series on post-war Britain reveals a nation poised for change . . . Moves continuously and skilfully between moments of high politics and the daily rumble of normal people’s lives … Extraordinarily atmospheric, capturing more than anything a sense of what this moment in the early 1960s might have felt like to live through . . . Kynaston’s assessment is clear and erudite . . . What Kynaston is doing with this book and the Tales of a New Jerusalem series more widely is providing a chronicle from the bottom up of contemporary British history
*Financial Times*

Here is an intricate tapestry that conveys the essence of the time . . . A Northern Wind is not a superficial exercise in heritage history, an attempt to dress up the past . . . It analyses complexities, teases out nuances and gauges the currents of continuity and change, many of which still flow today
*Literary Review*

A collage of fragments interlaced with penetrating analysis, this book is always humane, often hilarious, devoid of dogma and never condescending
*New Statesman*

Let us be grateful for the collage of little pictures that Kynaston gives us, surely the most hyperreal of historical accounts of this period we will ever have. And let us hope for more volumes soon
*History Today*

PRAISE FOR 'Tales of a New Jerusalem' : Volumes full of treasure, serious history with a human face
*Hilary Mantel*

No other writer evokes Britain's past so well
*New Statesman*

Kynaston has created a living, breathing, talking, singing, dancing, grumbling and complaining portrait of the British . . . Groundbreaking
*Literary Review*

Few historians have the power to make you feel you actually inhabit the times they are writing about. Kynaston does
*Sunday Times*

One of the most remarkable literary projects of this century
*Nick Hornby*

A living, breathing, talking, singing, dancing, grumbling and complaining portrait of the British . . . Groundbreaking
*Literary Review*

The real strength of the book, and the series, is Kynaston’s focus on the voices from below. Drawing on a daunting array of diaries, letters and cultural ephemera ranging from the most pop to the highest brow, the book frames history through the ordinary person’s experience
*BBC History Magazine, 2023 Books of the Year*

[A] readable and richly detailed social history of the post-war period: it catalogues under two-and-a-half years in which, it seemed, the whole country changed . . . For all its documentary richness, the book reminds us – indeed warns us – how so much can change so quickly’
*Telegraph, The Best History Books of 2023*

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