Turning Points

Steve Richards

21 September 2023
416 pages


The Times Best Politics and Current Affairs Books of the Year

An entertaining and revealing history of modern British politics from Steve Richards, broadcaster, journalist, and author of The Prime Ministers We Never Had.

'Through wonderful vignettes, Richards offers a masterful, clear-eyed and, above all, entertaining history of British politics. To pilot a better future, we need to learn how not to repeat the mistakes of the past. The book is a lesson in just that' – Will Hutton

Every few weeks in British politics, a columnist will reach for the word ‘unprecedented’ as a cabinet minister resigns or yet another inquiry is called. We have become so accustomed to turmoil that it is impossible to take a breath and see where we are headed. In this magisterial history, respected broadcaster and journalist Steve Richards puts the recent chaos into context and takes a step back to explore ten critical moments that have shaped modern Britain.

From the Suez Crisis of 1956 to the Covid-19 pandemic, from 1945 to Thatcher, Richards argues that it is only with distance that we can perceive the tectonic plates shifting – and events that may seem earth-shattering in the moment might be a passing tremor with the perspective of history.

With his trademark insight, forged over several decades as one of the UK’s foremost political commentators, Richards blends anecdote and analysis to explore the biggest events in British political history. A must-read for anyone seeking to understand our nation, this landmark work is enlightening and entertaining in equal measure.

'An engaging canter through postwar Britain . . . shaped by a lifetime of reading' – Prospect

An engaging canter through postwar Britain . . . shaped by a lifetime of reading
A wonderful book to savour. Only Richards can take you on a journey that flies so gracefully above the hurly-burly of politics and explain what’s actually going on
A pure pleasure to read. Richards is the ideal companion for anyone wishing to taste, feel and understand the ebbs and flows of the British experience since the end of the Second World War. The key characters live and breathe in his pages