History David Cannadine History in Our Time

ISBN 13: 9780140249552

History in Our Time

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9780140249552: History in Our Time

How did the House of Windsor transform itself into " a wealth-creating machine" which has built up a huge private fortune from public funds? how did the (apparently) happy "family on the throne" turn dysfunctional, and a glitzy royal marriage degenerate into the ghastly "spectacle of two sad, spoiled, solipsistic individuals slugging it out in public? In this collection, the author offers dazzling brief overviews of topics ranging from class to divorce, private to patriotism, the rise and fall of Empire and the absurd cult of "Victorian values". He dissects the continuing crises of the monarchy and he reveals how even the most exceptional figures - Churchill and Nightingale, Mosley and Macmillan, Thatcher and A.J.P. Taylor - can only be understood in their full historical context. Few other writers have his skill at bringing the past to life and using it to illuminate the present.

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Review:

Historian and essayist David Cannadine promises, in his introduction to History in Our Time, a "festive and high-spirited" book--and he delivers. This collection of 30 essays focusing on 19th- and 20th-century England is not only supported by the Oxford-educated Cannadine's authoritative grasp of historical fact, but graced with a sharp sense of humor that at times makes one think of H.L. Mencken crossed with P.G. Wodehouse. Cannadine serves up serious history, yet it's never solemn. "If George III had died younger or gone mad sooner," Cannadine reflects, "his sons would have had much greater opportunities to enjoy and consolidate their debauched and self-indulgent idea of monarchy." The essays deal with three main themes: the monarchy, sketches of notable Britons (including Churchill, Thatcher, MacMillan, and writer John Buchan), and, in a section titled "Hindsight's Insights," examinations of how the English regard such matters as divorce, privacy, class, and morals. These essays were written between 1988 and 1997, and Cannadine is often at his best when examining (and skewering) what he regards as the pompous follies of the Thatcher years. One of the most recent essays in the book, written in the days following the death of Princess Diana, is remarkable for its analysis of her life, the mass reaction to her death, and what it all means for the future of her sons and for England itself. --Robert McNamara

About the Author:

David Cannadine is Director at the Institute of the Historical Research, University of London. His acclaimed books include Aspects of Aristocracy, The Pleasures of the Past, and The Decline of the British Aristocracy.

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Cannadine, David
Published by Penguin USA, E Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.A. (2001)
ISBN 10: 0140249559 ISBN 13: 9780140249552
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Book Description Penguin USA, E Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.A., 2001. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. Brief essays on people and themes of 20th Century British history. Includes profiles of Cecil Rhodes, Winston Churchill, Oswald Mosley, A.J.P. Taylor, Margaret Thatcher as well as essays on the monarchy, the empire, patriotism, class, morals, and more. xi+313 pages, index, remainder mark. Published @ $15.00. Bookseller Inventory # 14298

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Book Description Penguin Books, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0140249559

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