David Attenborough. Marcus Rashford. Jan Morris. Diana Dors. Bob Geldof. David Olusoga. Elizabeth David. Zaha Hadid. Frank Crichlow. Quentin Crisp. Dusty Springfield. Captain Tom.
Who made modern Britain the country it is today? How do we sum up the kind of people we are? What does it mean to be the new Elizabethans?
In this wonderfully told history, spanning back to when Queen Elizabeth became queen in 1953, Andrew Marr traces the people who have made Britain the country it is today. From the activists to the artists, the sports heroes to the innovators, these people pushed us forward, changed the conversation, encouraged us to eat better, to sing, think and to protest. They got things done. How will our generation be remembered in a hundred years' time? And when you look back at Britain's toughest moments in the past seventy years, what do you learn about its people and its values?
In brilliantly entertaining style and with unexpected insights into some of our sung and unsung heroes, Andrew Marr offers up a first draft of the history we are all living. This is our story as the new Elizabethans - the story of how 1950s Britain evolved into the diverse country we live in today. In short, it is the history of modern Britain.
Andrew Marr is a former editor of The Independent and BBC Political Editor. He currently hosts BBC 1's Andrew Marr Show, and presented Radio 4's Start the Week from 2005 to 2012. His acclaimed television documentary series include Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain and Andrew Marr's The Making of Modern Britain. He is a hugely successful non-fiction author, and his first novel, Head of State will be published in 2014.
'Like The Crown in book form: a stream of intriguing stories producing a mosaic that the reader, with expert steers from Marr, can glue together' Guardian
'Examines what it means to be a Briton today … Once it all seemed so simple. Morally and culturally, we led the field, or so we liked to think. These days we may be healthier and better informed, but are we really any more broad-minded? … Marr is a natural optimist. He ends with the story of the footballer Marcus Rashford, who successfully campaigned for free school-meal vouchers during lockdown. However cynical we may have become, there is still everything to play for'
John Preston, Daily Mail
Praise for Andrew Marr's previous books
'It is the clarity of his judgements, the arresting insights and the irrepressible wit that keep us hanging on to his words. Among his other qualities, Marr is the ideal history teacher that most people never had at school . . . A damned good read . . . This book will be read with pleasure, for Marr's ironic tone and ever-present pleasant presence.'
Bernard Crick, Edinburgh Review
'A fine example of popular history . . . engaging and intelligent.'
'He has the rare gift of being able to explain complex issues in a few crisp sentences.'