A History of Britain in the 1980s
(Paperback Edition)


Buy on Amazon


Category: Product ID: 796


Bang! – Graham Stewart’s sixth book rides the turbulence of a tumultuous decade – ten years that redefined modern Britain and which put the country in the vanguard of reforms that went on to sweep much of the world.

Among the questions it seeks to answer are: ‘Was the revenue from North Sea oil really squandered?’ ‘Were the Conservatives electorally successful primarily because the Left was split between Labour and the SDP-Liberal Alliance?’ and ‘How close was Arthur Scargill to winning the miners’ strike?’ Also explored are such themes as the revival of ‘reactionary chic’ in film and television, whether Prince Charles harmed or emboldened modernist architects, the decline of amateurism in sport, greater sexual equality in the workplace and why Madness, not Rick Astley, was the true sound of the decade.

This is the book for anyone interested in whether the main consequences of the Eighties – from widening wealth inequality to more relaxed social attitudes and financial deregulation – were inevitable or the direct result of Margaret Thatcher’s dominant personality.

Buy on Amazon

13 reviews for Bang!

  1. Toby Young, Mail on Sunday

    Graham Stewart has done a terrific job. His book brings the decade vividly back to life.

  2. Roger Hutchinson, The Scotsman

    Sensationally good … Stewart is clever, stylish, learned and occasionally funny.

  3. Donald Trelford, Literary Review

    [Stewart’s] control of a complex narrative here is masterly, his style lively and easy to read, and there are many shrewd insights.

  4. Peter York, Management Today

    A definitive look back … He’s covered almost everything: the politics, economics and the culture.

  5. Ian Thomson, The Observer

    Superb … Throughout this carefully researched history, Stewart conjures the urban decay and collapse industries of early-80s Britain … Rarely has history seemed so close to us, yet so far.

  6. Dan Jones, Daily Telegraph

    Stewart has written an accomplished, politically minded history of a decade in which Britain was painfully reborn.

  7. Stuart Maconie, New Statesman

    Bang! isn’t all juntas and public-sector borrowing requirements. As you would expect, pop culture muscles its way in with padded shoulders. There is a long and generally sound resume of synth-pop and Stewart is also surprisingly insightful on The Smiths, offering a far more sensitive and nuanced portrait than many specialist rock writers have managed … Crammed with detail, anecdote and juxtapositions.

  8. Vernon Bogdanor, Times Literary Supplement

    A racy account of the 1980s, which will take its place with John Campbell’s biography of Margaret Thatcher and Richard Vinen’s Thatcher’s Britain as a standard guide … It is especially good on political history.

  9. John Preston, The Spectator

    Lively, incisive and valiantly thorough … Stewart is particularly good on Thatcher’s strengths and weaknesses.

  10. Fergus Kelly, Daily Express

    For those like me for whom the Eighties were their formative years, Stewart’s book is an illuminating reminder of a decade that crackled with creative energy and social tension. Those born afterwards have a fascinating introduction in store.

  11. Brian Morton, Glasgow Herald

    Stewart nails [the decade] with extraordinary precision and a wealth of detail. His chapter on the Falklands war is as good a short essay on the subject as you’ll find, as is his chapter on architecture. Bang! continually surprises, but what is most surprising is how vividly present so much of it still is.

  12. Iain Finlayson, Saga Magazine

    Stewart’s analysis of a momentous decade is lively, shewd and, in the relatively few years since then, achieves a nice historical perspective.

  13. Diarmaid Ferriter, Irish Independent

    A very impressive account of a colourful and divisive decade.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *