Report of Sheffield launch of Andy Beckett’s new book: Promised You A Miracle UK80-82

IMG_2824-250SPERI hosted a very enjoyable event last night with the Sheffield launch of Andy Beckett’s new book: Promised You A Miracle: UK80-82.

Craig Berry, Deputy Director of SPERI, opened the evening before handing over to our first two speakers. Kate Dommett, Deputy Director of the Crick Centre, added her praise to multiple others (see reviews here) and remarked on how the book captures a huge range of Events|News. Stephen Farrall, Professor in Criminal Law, then reflected on the book in the light of his own research on crime trends under Thatcher (find out more here).

Andy Beckett spoke about his motivations for writing the book, and why he had specifically focused on the years 1980-82. He described how Events|News during the years 80-82 had a profound impact on him in his early teenage years. Andy’s father served in the Falklands War and politics was very present in his household. At the same time new pop music became a vehicle expressing change in a new way.

While trends such as growing individualisation and depoliticisation started in the 1970s, the years 80-82 seem to encapsulate the early stages of a big social shift. He described how Britain was ‘ready for change’ and spoke about his interest in the first ‘radical but flaky’ Thatcher government when the ideas of Thatcherism were still not yet fully formed. A wide-ranging Q&A session then followed which covered the politics of cricket, ABC, Chariots of Fire, the Falklands, the GLC and hunger strikes.

Photos from the event can be viewed on our Facebook page.

Thank you to everyone who braved the cold wind to attend. We would also like to especially thank the speakers, the volunteers who helped out, and Blackwells bookshop for providing the books.

If you enjoyed the event, our next one is the SPERI ‘In Conversation’ event with David Willetts on Wednesday 23 March at 6pm in Firth Hall. Register for your free place here.