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British Rail: A New History Hardcover – 9 Jun. 2022
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The authoritative and fascinating history of the rise and fall of the state-owned British Rail
'Wolmar's book is impeccably organized and makes a fast, enjoyable read' THE TIMES Literary Supplement
You think you know British Rail. But you don't know the whole story.
From its creation after the Second World War, through its fifty-year lifetime, British Rail was an innovative powerhouse that transformed our transport system. Uniting disparate lines into a highly competent organisation - heralding 'The Age of the Train' - and, for a time, providing one of the fastest regular rail services in the world.
Born into post-war austerity, traumatised, impoverished and exploited by a hostile press, the state-owned railway was dismissed as a dinosaur unable to evolve, and swept away by a government hellbent on selling it off.
Now, award-winning writer Christian Wolmar provides a new perspective on national loss in a time of privatisation.
British Rail is ripe for a new history.
Praise for Christian Wolmar
'Wolmar is the high priest of railway studies' Literary Review
'The greatest expert on British trains' Guardian
'Our most eminent transport journalist' Spectator
'If the world's railways have a laureate, it is surely Christian Wolmar' Boston Globe
'Christian Wolmar is in love with the railways. He writes constantly and passionately about them. He is their wisest, most detailed historian and a constant prophet of their rebirth . . . if you love the hum of the wheels and of history, then Christian Wolmar is your man' Observer
Wolmar is the high priest of railway studies ― Literary Review
Praise for Christian Wolmar ― -
The greatest expert on British trains ― The Guardian
Our most eminent transport journalist ― The Spectator
About the Author
- Publisher : Michael Joseph (9 Jun. 2022)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0241456207
- ISBN-13 : 978-0241456200
- Dimensions : 15.88 x 4.45 x 23.5 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 4,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from United Kingdom
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Well-written in a way any layman can understand, it is a fascinating journey through an organisation that clearly means many things to many people, both past and present. There is a strong tendency towards a belief that state-ownership is better than private ownership but that is, of course, the authors’ privilege - others, including me, may disagree on the basis there is good and bad in both. And in fairness the writer is critical of certain aspects of state administration.
If there is one criticism to be made it is that the author’s political beliefs do show themselves at times. It may surprise some out there but people who voted for Brexit did not do so because they were influenced by ‘tales of straight bananas and [the] banning of double-decker buses’ but alas such lazy thinking does appear in the introduction.
But it would be churlish to see that as reasons to mark this book as anything other than five stars out of five. An all-together interesting and informative book and one I would recommend.
The usual Wolmar trademarks are here: well researched with a unique style of commentary that enhances the facts.