BBC - Andrew Marr's History Of Modern Britain, 2007
Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain is a 2007 BBC documentary television series presented by Andrew Marr that covers the period of British history from the end of the Second World War onwards. Five parts. DivX.
1. Advance Britannia, 1945 - 1955
Britain in 1945; the country is victorious but nearly bankrupt. As Clement Attlee's Labour government sets out to build 'New Jerusalem', Britain is forced to hold out the begging bowl in Washington. Though Ealing Studios produces a series of very British comedies and there is a spirit of hope in the air, the British people's growing impatience with austerity threatens to take the country from bankruptcy to self-destruction.
 2. The Land of Lost Content, 1955 - 1964
The 1950s were a period of apparent calm, order and prosperity for Britain, but much of the populace was hungry for change, many began to distrust the government and protestors and satirists led people to question and mock their rulers. In 1961, the liaison between working-class Christine Keeler and Secretary of State for War John Profumo brought the closed world of the British establishment together with the cocky new Britain growing up around it.
 3. Paradise Lost, 1964 - 1979
As the 1960s progress, Harold Wilson takes centre stage in a rapidly changing Britain as the country looks to modern technology and a fairer, liberated future. However, the Wilson governments presided over years of industrial conflict, stagnation and decline. As Edward Heath's government ascends to power in the 1970s, British industry is reduced to working a three-day week, electricity is rationed and the country is again haunted by the shadow of wartime austerity.
 4. Revolution! 1979 - 1990
The Britain of Margaret Thatcher and comes to some surprising conclusions about the British national character. It was a period of extreme ideological polarisation. Imperial visions stirred again as the fleet sailed for the Falklands. Privatisation and deregulation amounted to a cultural, economic and political revolution. Heroic national rescue operation or final act of self-destruction? An exploration of the extent to which we British are all now the children of Thatcher.
 5. New Britannia, 1990 - 2007
Britain enters the uncharted waters of the post-Thatcher era. Many have done well in the end during the Thatcher years but now boom is turning to bust. Britain feels more vulnerable than ever to rapid international change - from the influence of powerful new global market forces to global warming. Just when many in post-war Britain are getting used to the good life, it seems we might have to start giving up our big cars and foreign holidays.
There is no unbiased history; or at least no history that is both unbiased and interesting. History is always written, or filmed, from a standpoint.
Any historian is affected by their time of birth, geography, education, political prejudices and temperament. This is particularly true for a contemporary history, such as my new History of Modern Britain, the BBC series and the fat book with it.
I'm a BBC voice and I try very hard, therefore, to avoid party political bias. More than that, I wanted to tell the story of this country since 1945 in a way that was open to as many viewers as possible - asking questions, reminding, provoking, rather than laying down the law.
This is history, but it's only just history. I was acutely conscious that almost everything I talk about was lived through, up close, by people who will be watching or reading. It's their story.
My job was to weave countless "theirs" into one "our story", which is bound to be contentious, and should be. So, to take some examples, I talk about the disgust many people felt for the post-war diet, particularly the unpopular imported tinned fish snoek; yet there will probably be people still alive who thought that actually, snoek was rather nice.
I talk about a country brimming with hope in 1945, which seems to me a reasonable summary of all of I've read. But lots of people will have been grimly pessimistic. The nearer you come in time, the more contested every statement is bound to seem.
Who was really to blame at the Orgreave confrontation between police and miners?
My take on the Bloody Sunday shootings will inevitably infuriate some people, including people who were there, either in the army or on the streets.
Then there are the less thunderous questions. Was David Bowie really a gender-bending revolutionary, or do I treat him too seriously?
And is it fair to mock Eighties big-hair music quite as aggressively?
Everywhere I go to film, from the awful murder of James Bulger in Bootle, to the ships of the Falklands task force, or the control room from where the 7/7 London bombings were dealt with, or Alexandra Palace, where the 14-hour technicolour rave erupted, I'm stepping on people's memories and lives.
This isn't medieval history, or Tudor history. It's us.
Andrew Marr- 18 May 2007
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