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Geri Halliwell in a Union Jack, Blair posing with Noel Gallagher at No. 10, and a nation united in mourning for Diana. These are the images that have come to define Britain in 1997. From Britpop to the Young British Artists, that year is now remembered by many as a time of lost optimism and vibrancy. A time when it seemed like Britain was becoming a more tolerant, cosmopolitan, freer and fairer society. This book provides an evocative portrait of that era. Cutting through the nostalgia which has come to cloud our memories of the 1990s, Sayeed shows that many of the crises afflicting Britain today had their roots in that crucial year. The rise of New Labour masked the steady creep of British politics towards the right, while the Stephen Lawrence inquest exposed the tenacity of racism in both British society and the state, foreshadowing the widespread hate crime of today. Far from being the crowning height of 'Cool Britannia', Sayeed instead sees 1997 as a missed opportunity, a turning point when there was a chance to genuinely transform British culture and society, but which instead set us on the path to our current malaise.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction: You Say You Want a Revolution 1. New Labour, New Britain 2. Murderers 3. The People's Princess 4. Girl Power 5. Sensationalism 6. Cocaine Supernova Conclusion: Crisis

About the Author

Richard Power Sayeed is a writer and documentary maker based in London. This is his first book, and he has somehow managed to finish it without losing his love for the minutiae of nineties Britain.


'Richard Power Sayeed establishes himself as the definitive critical chronicler of the Blair years with his superb book 1997: The Future That Never Happened' Open Democracy Books of the Year 'It is difficult to do justice to Sayeed's qualities as a writer. He brings a sympathetic eye, attention to detail, a knack for evoking scenes, and acute thumbnail sketches of characters ... Deceptively sophisticated, and sometimes lethal in its critique.' Jacobin `A beautifully written, brilliantly insightful account of New Labour's Britain - and fundamental to our understanding of how this country ended up in this mess.' Owen Jones `A dazzling, funny, and impressively detailed analysis of one of the most important years in modern British history. Both nostalgic and deeply critical, this book casts 1997 in an entirely new light.' Ellie Mae O'Hagan 'Phenomenal ... One of my books of 2017.' Aaron Bastani, Novara Media `A vital book that combines great storytelling with fresh insights, and says as much about the present as the recent past.' Alwyn W. Turner, author of A Classless Society: Britain in the 1990s `Richard Power Sayeed has vividly reprised the year 1997, when radical currents flowed into the mainstream, and the authorities "welcomed moderate reforms with satisfied contentment." Such promise - but what did it deliver?' Andy McSmith, author of No Such Thing as Society: A History of Britain in the 1980s

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