Thursday 2 December 2010

State of Emergency by Dominc Sandbrook

If your wife or partner is looking for a discrete last minute gift for you, I recommend STATE OF EMERGENCY The Way We Were: Britain 1970-74 by Dominic Sandbrook. Now available from Amazon at a reduced price.

Whilst aimed at the opposite end of the decade we are recreating in miniature, this book sets the scene of what Britain was about in the 1970's. We see a country in crisis and how easily it could have tipped into a Winter of '79 abyss back in 1974. For instance, by November 1973 the Tory government had declared no less than 5 states of emergency in just 3 years of office.To put the intensity of the crisis into context, emergency powers were only invoked 12 times during the whole period between 1920 and 1982.

For a forty something, child of the seventies like myself,  State of Emergency illuminates a world which I may have experienced but my parents endured - 3 days weeks, power cuts, shortages. Great background reading. I've dipped into a copy at Waterstone's several times whilst waiting for a later commuter train home and have consequently added it to my own Christmas wishlist.



  1. Thanks for the heads-up. I've mentioned a few times that this is a period in British history that I was unaware of and this might be a good read to try and fill that knowledge gap.


  2. Mark:

    Thanks for the recommendation on this book. It is now on my Xmas wishlist! I have since abandon my N.I. theme games for a Very British Civil War in the '70's (but Ireland will still play into some games), based off of your blog and the interesting WILSON, MI5 AND THE RISE OF THATCHER pdf.