As with his acclaimed histories of British life in the two previous decades, Never Again and Having it so Good, Peter Hennessy covers the political, economic, cultural and social aspects of a nation with inimitable wit and empathy.
Harold Macmillan - the presiding figure in Peter Hennessy's magnificent new history - famously said in 1960 that the wind of change was blowing over Africa and the remaining British Empire. But it was blowing over Britain too - its society; its relationship with Europe; its nuclear and defence policy. And where it was not blowing hard enough, the United Kingdom's economic performance, great efforts were made to blow away the cobwebs of old industrial practices and poor labour relations. Life was lived in the knowledge that it could end in a single afternoon of thermonuclear exchange if the uneasy, armed peace of the Cold War tipped into World War III.