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  • Published: 20 October 2020
  • ISBN: 9780141036052
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 624
  • RRP: $26.99
Categories:

Winds of Change

Britain in the Early Sixties




The third volume of Peter Hennessy's landmark postwar history of Britain

Harold Macmillan - the presiding figure in Peter Hennessy's magnificent new history - famously said in 1960 that the wind of change was blowing over Africa and the remaining British Empire. But it was blowing over Britain too - its society; its relationship with Europe; its nuclear and defence policy. And where it was not blowing hard enough - the United Kingdom's economy - great efforts were made to wipe away the cobwebs of old industrial practices and poor labour relations. Life was lived in the knowledge that it could end in a single afternoon of thermonuclear exchange if the uneasy, armed peace of the Cold War tipped into a third world war. As with his acclaimed histories of British life in the two previous decades, Never Again and Having it so Good, Peter Hennessy explains the political, economic, cultural and social aspects of a nation with inimitable wit and empathy.

  • Published: 20 October 2020
  • ISBN: 9780141036052
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 624
  • RRP: $26.99
Categories:

About the author

Peter Hennessy

Peter Hennessy reported Whitehall for ten years, mainly for The Times, The Economist and the Financial Times. He is Professor of Contemporary History, at the University of London, and is married with two daughters. His most recent book is The Prime Minister (2000).

Also by Peter Hennessy

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Praise for Winds of Change

Peter Hennessy writes like he talks, which produces a delightfully wandering narrative, peppered with quirky anecdotes, that surreptitiously delivers powerful insights. This is by far the best study of early Sixties Britain; one to please the masses and wow the scholars. ... Hennessy, unique among contemporary historians, understands politics from the inside out. The book is so much fun, yet still shrewd and important

Gerard DeGroot, The Times Books of the Year

Professor Peter Hennessy is a fine historian of late-twentieth-century Britain. He is a master of all the published sources, and his generous personality, academic distinction and unquestioned integrity have meant that he adds to them a lifetime of the confidences and insights of most of those who have actually made our history. ... So, a standing ovation for Peter Hennessy, a good man who writes very good books.

Chris Patten, Tablet

Hennessy is a national treasure. He is driven by a romantic, almost sensual, fascination with British history, culture, and the quirky intricacies of British democracy and the government machine. His curiosity is insatiable, his memory infinitely capacious.

Rodric Braithwaite, Spectator

[G]enially narrated... what makes him such a deft public historian is the way he stitches these patches of rich local colour into a narrative with the widest possible reach. ... Hennessy has such a keen associative eye and such a generous heart for the sheer oddness of everything that the narrative spins along like a comfortable chat.

Kathryn Hughes, Guardian

splendid history of postwar Britain... Hennessy's writing is characterised by a wonderful mixture of wit and erudition.

Piers Brandon, Literary Review

This is the third in Hennessy's wonderfully insightful series of books that make up a portrait of a nation coming to terms with victory in a ravaging war and the loss of empire. Like the others - Never Again and Having It So Good - it performs a singular balancing act between social history and cabinet-room politics. No current historian is as versed as Hennessy in the internal cogs and springs of the British state, but he also has a keen eye for the luminous face of passing time.

Tim Adams, Observer

a masterful survey of Britain as the decade began ... For those who know him only from the radio, Hennessy is as good a writer as he is a talker. ... I am afraid that he is now a treasure.

David Aaronovitch, The Times

a deeply-informed book that has, nearly 60 years later, powerful resonance. The foremost chronicler of the era, Hennessy combines the intricate detail with stylistic verve.

Philip Stephens, Financial Times

flavoursome, but authoritative, account ... This history is none the worse - quite the opposite - for being such a personal one; but it is the intense erudition underpinning Hennessy's intimate reflections that makes it so utterly indispensable.

Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph

fascinating ... dominated by the author's personal enthusiasms, researches and memories

Max Hastings, Sunday Times

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