Now that's what I call a history of the 1980s

By Lucy Robinson

Now that's what I call a history of the 1980s

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-6725-5
  • Pages: 392
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £14.99
  • Published Date: July 2023
  • BIC Category: Modern History, c 1980 to c 1989, Popular culture, Social & cultural history, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / 20th Century, HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century, Humanities / Postwar 20th century history, from c 1945 to c 2000, Society & social sciences / Popular culture, History, Society & social sciences / Cultural studies, Humanities / Social & cultural history


Now that's what I call a history of the 1980s tells the story of eighties Britain through its popular culture. Charting era-defining moments from Lady Diana's legs and the miners' strike to Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage and Adam and the Ants,Lucy Robinson weaves together an alternative history to the one we think we know. This is not a history of big geopolitical disasters, or a nostalgic romp through discos, shoulder pads and yuppie culture. Instead, the book explores a mashing together of different genres and fan bases in order to make sense of our recent past and give new insights into the decade that defined both globalisation and excess.

Packed with archival and cultural research but written with verve and spark, the book offers as much to general readers as to scholars of this period, presenting a distinctive and definitive contemporary history of 1980s Britain, from pop to politics, to cold war cultures, censorship and sexuality.


Introduction: Now that's what I call a History of the 1980s
1 The Eighties in Green Time and Space: Glastonbury, CND and Greenpeace 1981 - 1992
2 Warriors in face paint
3 Diana's legs in The Sun
4 Smiley Culture's voice: speaking to the Commonwealth
5 Spycatcher and the truth economy
6 Northern Ireland and the oxygen of publicity
7 Neil Kinnock and the pop and politics dialectic
8 Orgreave, the crowd, and the decade of disasters
9 Roland Rat, breakfast TV and the infotainment market
10 The Ultimate List: AIDS, music and memorialisation


Lucy Robinson is Professor of Collaborative History at the University of Sussex

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