Reviews and comment from the Demon Crew - creative writers at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

70s Britain: the worst of times, the best of times?

I thoroughly enjoyed Dominic Sandbrook’s TV series ‘70s Britain’ and was intrigued to see how he would attack such a broad subject area in one short hour.  The answer was, with great aplomb.  His delivery in the flesh was as sharp and witty as his on-screen persona, his observations on the politics of the period intercut with references to popular culture.  At times it was laugh out loud funny, at others thought-provoking, but always interesting.    

This talk was not just for those who remembered the 70s, although admittedly most of us could recall the winter of discontent.  As Dominic reminded us, selective memory and media emphasis can skew the facts.  For example, with regard to pop music, we tend to think that the 70s was all about punk and the Sex Pistols.  In fact, Abba and the BeeGees topped the charts, while the most influential artist from the decade was undoubtedly the King of Glam Rock and this year’s Brit Award winner, David Bowie.  

There were political and economic disasters aplenty, but on the other hand we embraced Europe and women’s rights leapt forward with the election of our first female Prime Minister.  Yes, there were strikes and power cuts, but the three day week was great when you were a kid, and our parents had never before enjoyed such a high standard of living.  

I eagerly await Dominic’s next series, finding him to be one of the most fascinating and accessible historians of our times.  

S C Davies

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