Sunday 26 December 2010

When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies

An unexpected Christmas gift yesterday was Andy Beckett's travelogue of 1970's Britain. It's scope covers Edward Heath's election in 1970 to the rule of Thatcher in 1979. Why travelogue? Because it's written in that eclectic oratory style of Bill Bryson's travel walkabouts. There's only the briefest of timelines - Beckett identifies salient events, people and happenings to weave a journey through a turbulent decade.

I found it a particularly apt gift, having got home early enough from work on Friday to wrap presents on the kitchen table whilst watching the final half of SWEENEY 2 (1978) on the TV.

When the Lights Went Out is an immensely readable book. I've just been dipping so far and look forward to giving it more time over the next couple of days. If you are interested in the 70's Britain that created Winter of '79, may well be worth you picking up in one of the post Christmas sales.


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