- Format: Paperback
- ISBN: 978-1-5261-6725-5
- Pages: 376
- Price: £14.99
- Published Date: July 2023
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.
'Lucy Robinson shows us how history helps us to understand culture and how culture helps us to understand history. By understanding history and culture you will start to think and change your life. If you change your life, you change the world.'
'THE CHAPTER ON MY SUCCESS WAS FABULOUS, FULL MARKS TO THE PROFESSOR (WHOEVER SHE IS). PITY THE REST OF THE BOOK WASN'T ALL ABOUT ME CUS I WOULDN'T HAVE FALLEN ASLEEP READING IT THEN.'
'The eighties was a pop culture minefield that only a nimble guide can guide you through. Now that's what I call a history of the 1980s does this with a keen cultural eye and captivating turn of phrase as it unpacks the decade and redefines its times of tension and release with attendant soundtrack.'
John Robb, author of The art of darkness: A history of goth
'Forget the Filofaxes of the City boys: most of us made our connections, as Robinson puts it, on the dance floor, and some of us are still dancing. Now that's what I call a decade to remember.'
Suzanne Moore, The Telegraph
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