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Winds of Change: Britain in the Early Sixties

Peter Hennessy

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Allen Lane
16 September 2019
History; British & Irish history; Postwar 20th century history, from c 1945 to c 2000; Social & cultural history
As with his acclaimed histories of British life in the two previous decades, Never Again and Having it so Good, Peter Hennessy covers the political, economic, cultural and social aspects of a nation with inimitable wit and empathy.

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 economic performance, great efforts were made to blow 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 World War III.
By:   Peter Hennessy
Imprint:   Allen Lane
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 162mm,  Spine: 42mm
Weight:   1.118kg
ISBN:   9781846141102
ISBN 10:   1846141109
Pages:   592
Publication Date:   16 September 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Peter Hennessy is one of Britain's most celebrated historians, 'who has himself become something of a national institution' (Ben Pimlott). He is Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary University of London. His previous books include this book's two immediate predecessors, Never Again- Britain 1945-51 (1992, winner of the Duff Cooper Prize and the NCR Prize for Non-fiction) and Having it so Good- Britain in the Fifties (2006, winner of the Orwell Prize for Political Writing). His other books include Cabinet (1986), Whitehall (1989), The Prime Minister- The Office and Its Holders Since 1945 (2000), The Secret State- Preparing for the Worst (2002, 2010) and, co-authored with James Jinks, The Silent Deep- The Royal Navy Submarine Service Since 1945 (2015, winner of the Duke of Westminster's Award for Military Literature and the Mountbatten Maritime Award). He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2003 and created an independent crossbench life peer as Lord Hennessy of Nympsfield in 2010.

Reviews for Winds of Change: Britain in the Early Sixties

The foremost chronicler of the era, Hennessy combines the intricate detail with stylistic verve. -- Philip Stephens * Financial Times * the intense erudition underpinning Hennessy's intimate reflections ... makes it utterly indispensable. -- Simon Heffer * Daily Telegraph * a masterful survey of Britain as the decade began ... I am afraid that he is now a treasure -- David Aaronovitch * The Times * 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 * splendid history of postwar Britain ... Hennessy's writing is characterised by a wonderful mixture of wit and erudition -- Piers Brendon * Literary Review * fascinating ... dominated by the author's personal enthusiasms, researches and memories -- Max Hastings * Sunday Times * A forensic look at the years from 1960 to 64 ... 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 * 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 * 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 * The Tablet *


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