If journalism is the first draft of history, then Andy Beckett's description of Britain in the early 1980s is history version 1.5. Using a range of memoirs, contemporary accounts and personal interviews with man of the key individuals from the era, he offers a idiosyncratic description of the period that is leavened with his own memories of his life in Britain during that time. His argument is a somewhat contrarian one: that these years were not just the beginnings of a lurch rightward as has often been relieved, but a time of dynamic change in many other respects. In Beckett's view people like "Red Ken" Livingston and the Greenham Common protestors were in every respect as much an embodiment of the transformation taking place as was Margaret Thatcher, and with a legacy nearly as important to making Britain the country it is today. His analysis is provocative, as is his highlighting of how much of this change was built upon the achievements of the previous decades rather than reflecting a rejection of them. For anyone interested in learning ore about the history of Britain during this era this is an excellent book to read, one that hopefully Beckett will build upon with a successor volume that describes further how the decade unfolded from this provocative start.