Archive for www.regdafishthinktank.com Here in the Day
 


       www.regdafishthinktank.com Forum Index -> Fishy Tales
Dock

Hope & Glory (the days that made Britain) Stuart Maconie

'As funny as Bryson and as wise as Orwell' reads the quote from The Observer that adorns the front cover of this book. I think SM is in a class of his own and deserves the comparison to the former of the two great writers mentioned in the Observer quote. With this, Maconies fourth (and for me his finest) book, he has given us ten chapters/essays regarding a pivotal event in each of the decades of the last century and how the ripples of those events have shaped Britain as a nation.

The title of the book could lead you to believe that this is just a flag waving exercise. Not so. Maconie celebrates but also denigrates in equal measure the institutions and history of Britain through the 21st century. Fascinating insightful accounts about and including The Battle of the Somme, the impact of the invention of television, The General Strike of 1926, Live Aid, The New Labour Landside victory of 1997, and too-many-more-to-mention interesting aspects of the nations history including two feasts-for-thought chapters, firstly about British football and secondly my favorite chapter about ethnicity in Britain entitled 'Rivers of Blood'.

In each chapter Maconie goes in search of the locations where these events have happened and in each one you get history, social commentary, and travel writing at its best. Including many references to Maconies own personal passions of pop music, food and drink (mainly single malts and curries), and of his love of the British countryside.

I have read all of Maconies books (Cider with Roadies, Pies and Prejudice, and Adventures on the High Teas - in search of Middle England) and I have thoroughly enjoyed all of them. All very funny and all very interesting. With HAG he has set the bar even higher. I can't think of a better way to sum this book up than another reviewers quote from the back cover of the book: 'Intensely readable'.

10/10
Late Doors

Cheers Dock ace as usual and no surprise, SM is quite brilliant. Ive never made the connection with Bryson before but yes they are deffo of the same ilk. Will save this for the next Holiday
fartcatcher

Maconie is a positive mine of useless information. A quality i admire in people.
bearing

fartcatcher wrote:
Maconie is a positive mine of useless information. A quality i admire in people.


sheeps hates me for it...  
Late Doors

To be fair though it's not just that.
Dock

Late Doors wrote:
To be fair though it's not just that.


Exactly.

*mutters something about "fuckin' endless list to choose from" under breath*

Back on topic: When Maconie writes about the The Battle of the Somme and the class-divides amongst the ranks he notes that out of the approx 56,000 British lads killed on the first day none of them were above the rank of General!


Useless information but interesting.
Forest

Dock wrote:
Late Doors wrote:
To be fair though it's not just that.


Exactly.

*mutters something about "fuckin' endless list to choose from" under breath*

Back on topic: When Maconie writes about the The Battle of the Somme and the class-divides amongst the ranks he notes that out of the approx 56,000 British lads killed on the first day none of them were above the rank of General!


Useless information but interesting.


What ranks above a General? Just wondering.
Plastic Man

Forest wrote:
Dock wrote:
Late Doors wrote:
To be fair though it's not just that.


Exactly.

*mutters something about "fuckin' endless list to choose from" under breath*

Back on topic: When Maconie writes about the The Battle of the Somme and the class-divides amongst the ranks he notes that out of the approx 56,000 British lads killed on the first day none of them were above the rank of General!


Useless information but interesting.


What ranks above a General? Just wondering.


A Field Marshall ranks above a General, but I believe that this rank is not now used during peace-time.

I suspect that Mr Maconie may have been trying to apply the merest soupçon of irony in this instance.
Dock

I think what he was trying to illustrate was the fact that the infantrymen/grunts suffered heavy losses but the toff officer classes only suffered maybe a delayed shipment of a case of their favorite vintage port.
bearing

Late Doors wrote:
To be fair though it's not just that.


I didn't jilt him on purpose.
Plastic Man

Dock wrote:
I think what he was trying to illustrate was the fact that the infantrymen/grunts suffered heavy losses but the toff officer classes only suffered maybe a delayed shipment of a case of their favorite vintage port.


You stated that "...he notes that out of the approx 56,000 British lads killed on the first day none of them were above the rank of General". To me, this suggests that at least one General was killed. So I'm not clear how one can infer from the statement that this indicates a clear invidious distinction between the classes?

While I have no doubt that many of the officers of the privileged classes will have had a a less harsh existence cocooned safely behind the lines, many of the juniors officers were slaughtered and maimed alongside the ranks while leading them over the top.

Perhaps Mr Maconie has been misquoted?
Dock

Re: " I have no doubt that many of the officers of the privileged classes will have had a a less harsh existence cocooned safely behind the lines".

That was what I was trying to say (as I think Mr. Maconie was), but I did it badly Your Grace. My apologies. It wasn't an exact quote but as near as I could remember it.
Grind

Poor old Grunt. He always gets it.
Dock

Grind wrote:
Poor old Grunt. He always gets it.


Thats cos he deserves it, FACT!
Late Doors

Great intro that Dock and yes bet yet from voice of Northern media normality Stuart Maconie.

Not as many laughs as i was expecting given his track record on that but more than made up for with some utterly remarkable searing socio politico comments from the man himself and protagonists of these immersions into our collective cause and effect moments in history. One in particular after the first world war left me totally astonished.

The anecdotes along with the illuminative text take our history and shove it deep into your British conscience and souls. It's easy for me to like the fella and what he writes as he seems to excavate my mind and heart and gift wrap it back to me in pristine proletariat prose that i just synchronise with. The book just washed me away under the Tenerife sun in a wave of pride and anger at our nation and what it has become. Social divisions, class creation, war, working class struggles and achievement, popular culture and much more captured with a microscopic incision, brilliant

I can think of just one thing i am not in total harmony with SM over and that is his assertion that burglars are class traitors. I would also add that they are class traitors who need their backsides gouging out with broken bottles strung up on the lamposts in the streets of their crimes where their dangling entrails can be feasted upon by the foxes, crows and rats
fartcatcher

Have requested Pies and Prejudice for birthday present.
Dock

New book just out:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Never-Min...RNWBA1U7FN&colid=8NXSZ8R9275D

       www.regdafishthinktank.com Forum Index -> Fishy Tales
Page 1 of 1
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum
I told you. We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune