State of Emergency

  • by Dominic Sandbrook
  • Narrated by David Thorpe
  • 32 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the early 1970s, Britain seemed to be tottering on the brink of the abyss. Under Edward Heath, the optimism of the Sixties had become a distant memory. Now the headlines were dominated by strikes and blackouts, unemployment and inflation. As the world looked on in horrified fascination, Britain seemed to be tearing itself apart. And yet, amid the gloom, glittered a creativity and cultural dynamism that would influence our lives long after the nightmarish Seventies had been forgotten. Dominic Sandbrook has recreated the gaudy, schizophrenic atmosphere of the early Seventies: the world of Enoch Powell and Tony Benn, David Bowie and Brian Clough, Germaine Greer and Mary Whitehouse.
An age when the unions were on the march and the socialist revolution seemed at hand, but also when feminism, permissiveness, pornography and environmentalism were transforming the lives of millions. It was an age of miners’ strikes, tower blocks and IRA atrocities, but it also gave us celebrity footballers and high-street curry houses, organic foods and package holidays, gay rights and glam rock. For those who remember the days when you could buy a new colour television but power cuts stopped you from watching it, this book could hardly be more vivid. It is the perfect guide to a luridly colourful Seventies landscape that shaped our present from the financial boardroom to the suburban bedroom.
Dominic Sandbrook was born in Shropshire in 1974, an indirect result of the Heath government's three-day week giving couples more leisure time. He is now a prolific reviewer and commentator, writing regularly for the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Sunday Times. He is the author of two hugely acclaimed books on Britain in the Fifties and Sixties, Never Had It So Good and White Heat.

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What the Critics Say

“Superb ... vivid ... magnificent ... Anyone who was there should read it: and so should anyone who was not.” Simon Heffer (Literary Review)
“Hugely entertaining, always compelling, often hilarious” Simon Sebag (Montefiore Sunday Telegraph)
“Thrillingly panoramic ... he vividly re-creates the texture of everyday life in a thousand telling details” Francis Wheen (Observer)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Just Brilliant

Those of my generation who were approaching their teenage years when Ted 'The Teeth' was at the helm are in for a real treat. This is not just a political history but a social one as well, soaked in the music and television of the time. The cultural references provide the perfect backdrop to the story which is told with such unerring, unbiased and dispassionate prose that I was at first confused as to the author's perspective. Just when he seemed to be writing from a union bashing right wing perspective the following chapter would unceremoniously put the boot into the right while quoting an elegant defence of the miners.

It is a rare piece that can challenge our prejudices and force us to view the history through which we lived in a different light but Sandbrook does precisely that.

The audio book is brilliantly read and I cannot recommend this highly enough.
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- stew

A thorough look at recent history, expertly read

I enjoyed this title, with its thematic approach. It is the first of Dominic Sandbrook's that I have read. I shall follow on with the others. It did much to challenge some of my assumptions about 1970 - 1974, and didn't fear stepping outside the years covered where necessary to make a point. What particularly made this book pleasurable was the skilled narration by David Thorpe. Perhaps I should call this a performance rather than a narration, but it brought the text alive. I will also be looking out for other books read by David Thorpe.
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- C. Moore

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-01-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios