Alwyn W. Turner is the author of Crisis? What Crisis? Britain in the 1970s and Rejoice! Rejoice! Britain in the 1980s, both published by Aurum Press. An acclaimed writer on post-war British culture, his other books include The Biba Experience, Halfway to Paradise: The Birth of British Rock and My Generation: The Glory Years of British Rock.
From that first traumatic remembrance service at 11am on 11th November 1919, the last post continues to be played to end the two minute silence, most famously at The Cenotaph. Alwyn Turner considers the history of the bugle, the music and the part it plays in creating a memorial to the fallen. Like for Like Reading Empires of the Dead: How One Man's Vision Led to the Creation of World War One's War Graves, David Crane The Poppy: A History of Conflict, Loss, Remembrance, and Redemption, Nicholas J Saunders
April 2014 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. The 1990’s - the last decade and already how far away it seems, some of the attitudes, the fashions and the politics make it seem a distant time, older and wiser, we’re glad to have survived. This attempt to catch the 1990’s and its affect on Britain is largely successful and in its way a triumph. Especially good is the knitting together of high politics and low culture with everything in between and at over 600 pages a long, deliciously detailed trawl through a decade and a bit. Like for Like Reading No Such Thing as Society: A History of Britain in the 1980's, Andy McSmith Austerity Britain 1945-1951, David Kynaston
At eleven o'clock on the morning of the 11th November 1919 the entire British Empire came to a halt to remember the dead of the Great War. During that first two - minute silence all transport stayed still, all work ceased and millions stood motionless in the streets. The only human sound to be heard was the desolate weeping of those overcome by grief. Then the moment was brought to an end by the playing of the Last Post. A century on, that lone bugle call remains the most emotionally charged piece of music in public life. In an increasingly secular society, it is the closest thing we have to a sacred anthem. Yet along with the poppy, the Cenotaph and the tomb of the Unknown Warrior, its power is profoundly modern. It is a response to the trauma of war that could only have evolved in a democratic age. In this moving exploration of the Last Post's history, Alwyn W. Turner considers the call's humble origins and shows how its mournful simplicity reached beyond class, beyond religion, beyond patriotism to speak directly to peoples around the world. Along the way he contemplates the relationship between history and remembrance, and seeks out the legacy of the First World War in today's culture.
Drawing on the collections of the V&A, Glam Rock narrates the story of glam and explores its impact on fashion, theatre and film. In the early 1970s, glam rock changed the face of popular culture in Britain and, against a backdrop of a nation racked by economical and social crises, its flamboyancy and theatricality provided an excuse for a party and an escapist dream for musicians and fans alike. British acts like David Bowie, Roxy Music, T. Rex and Mott the Hoople - together with American fellow-travellers including Lou Reed, Alice Cooper and Sparks - drew on the original blueprint of rock and roll, as well as a host of other traditions, from Hollywood to the music hall, Berlin cabaret and Broadway musicals to science fiction and pop art. The resulting music was a wild blend of camp artifice and avant-garde decadence. By 1975 the era had come to an end, but glam never truly went away. Indeed, its attitudes and aesthetics have shaped much that has followed since, from disco to punk, the new romantics to Britpop, Prince to Lady Gaga.
'A masterful work of social history and cultural commentary, told with much wit. It almost makes you feel as if you were there' ROGER LEWIS, Mail on Sunday The 1970s. They were the best of times and the worst of times. Wealth inequality was at a record low, yet industrial strife was at a record high. These were the glory years of Doctor Who and glam rock, but the darkest days of the Northern Ireland conflict. Beset by strikes, inflation, power cuts and the rise of the far right, the cosy Britain of the post-war consensus was unravelling - in spectacularly lurid style. Fusing high politics and low culture, Crisis? What Crisis? presents a world in which Enoch Powell, Ted Heath and Tony Benn jostle for space with David Bowie, Hilda Ogden and Margo Leadbetter, and reveals why a country exhausted by decline eventually turned to Margaret Thatcher for salvation.
';It is a great night. It is the end of socialism.' Margaret Thatcher, 10 April 1992 Twenty years on from 1992and the effects are still being felt. Some of these are so global in their scale that they can not be ignored. It was, for example, the year when the Maastricht Treaty was signed, setting in train the process of creating a single European currency, and when Yugoslavia imploded in a series of brutal civil wars, an event that brought into being the doctrine of liberal interventionism, still depressingly evident in Afghanistan today. It was also, less obviously, the year when a generation finally turned its back on politics. These were the people born a few years either side of 1960 the biggest demographic bulge in British history whose adult political experience was of a seemingly permanent Conservative government. Disillusioned by the unexpected victory of the Tories in the 1992 general election, this generation turned its attention instead to capturing the commanding heights of national culture. For a brief period, it was successful, creating a cultural renaissance that reshaped the identity of the country. In the process, however, it sowed the seeds of its own destruction, while its absence from politics ceded the field to a group of homogenised professional politicians, who were allowed to emerge unchallenged. This is the story of that generation, refracted through some of the key cultural moments of 1992. Alwyn W. Turner is the author of a number of acclaimed books on modern British culture, including Crisis? What Crisis?: Britain in the 1970s, Rejoice! Rejoice!: Brtain in the 1980s, Halfway to Paradise and The Biba Experience.
For nearly two decades Harry Hammond was Britain's leading showbiz photographer. Starting in the late-1940s, his camera captured the definitive images of virtually every leading British musician, as well as visiting Americans. Drawing on this invaluable archive of over 11,000 images housed in the V&A, Alwyn W Turner tells the story of Britain's embrace - and ultimate domination - of rock 'n' roll, from the earliest days with Bill Haley and the Comets to the emergence of the Beatles and Merseybeat. This remarkable collection includes photographs of Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent, Billy Fury, Johnny Kidd, Cliff Richard, Eddie Cochran, the Animals, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Dusty Springfield and many more.