Book 15 – Austerity Britain by David Kynaston

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Wow. Quite a doorstop, but definitely a recommended read. This is an extremely detailed narrative account of Britain’s progress from the end of the Second World War to 1951. It covers politics, economics, domestic life, housing, education, books, culture,  sex, food, rationing, everything.

Drawing on letters, diaries, mass observation records, government statistics and many other sources, Kynaston draws the reader in to develop a real sense of the time and how people lived.

I expected to find that much has changed since those times, and indeed that’s what I found. But what surprised me was how much was really quite familiar to a contemporary reader, particularly the politics.

Finally, reading the book has made me even more impatient with the current overuse of “austerity ” to describe our present economic situation. In Greece, yes but certainly not here.

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