Donald Trelford

Lady in Blue

Bang! A History of Britain in the 1980s

By

Atlantic Books 546pp £25 order from our bookshop

According to the late Eric Hobsbawm, ‘it is the business of historians to remember what others forget’. But how can anyone who was alive in the 1980s, which must include much of this country’s book-buying population, possibly forget what happened only twenty to thirty years ago? Some of the detail may be a little hazy, perhaps, but surely not the great events – the hot summer riots in Brixton and Toxteth, the Falklands War, the miners’ strike, Murdoch’s Wapping revolution, the Gang of Four, the Brighton bombing, the North Sea oil bonanza, and above all, of course, the iconic figure whose stint as prime minister (1979–90) framed the decade almost exactly: Margaret Thatcher.

Graham Stewart, a historian at Buckingham University, casts the country’s first female leader as ‘the guiding spirit of the age’. The unifying theme of his book, he says, is the attraction or repulsion that this ‘commanding personality’ evoked in various areas of British life, including politics, economics and the arts. He credits her with global success in being the indispensable conduit between Gorbachev and Reagan that led to the end of the Cold War.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,