New Britannia

A little clunky in places, more an essay than a study, but Andrew Marr’s History of Modern Britain has a wonderful coda…

it’s been a strange old story, a long march out of post-war austerity towards today’s swarming material profusion. For the last sixty years, Britain has been on the front line of change, From the Cold War to Thatcher’s Revolution; from de-industrialisation to online culture. Britain has been transformed form the planet’s most sprawling empire to an island that is now home to people from all over the world. The many coloured heart of the global economy.

The history of modern Britain, for all our increased wealth, has been surprisingly turbulent. Plenty of tight spots and loose living. Political mistakes and embarrassments of all kinds. Looking ahead, we ‘world’s islanders’, as we’ve become, are more open and perhaps more vulnerable than ever before.

And yet, to be born British remains a fantastic stroke of luck.

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