Paper $16.95 ISBN: 9781786991997 Published November 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781786991980 Published November 2017 For sale in North and South America only

1997

The Future that Never Happened

Richard Power Sayeed

1997

Richard Power Sayeed

Distributed for Zed Books

304 pages | 5 x 7 3/4
Paper $16.95 ISBN: 9781786991997 Published November 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781786991980 Published November 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Spice Girl Geri Halliwell dressed in a Union Jack, Prime Minister Tony Blair posing with Noel Gallagher of Oasis at No. 10, and a nation united in mourning for Princess Diana. These are the images that have come to define Britain in the pivotal year of 1997. In hindsight, the year is now remembered by many as a time of optimism and vibrancy, quickly lost. It symbolized a time when it seemed like Britain was becoming a more tolerant, cosmopolitan, freer, and more equitable country. So what happened?
 
Richard Power Sayeed has set out to find where the hope of the late ‘90s was lost. In 1997: The Future that Never Happened, he offers an evocative portrait of an era too quickly put into the past. Sayeed cuts through the nostalgia to show how many of the crises afflicting Britain today, actually had their roots in that crucial year. For example, 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 crimes of today. Far from being the crowning height of Britain’s cool, Sayeed instead sees 1997 as a missed opportunity, a turning point when there was a chance to genuinely transform British culture and society that was sadly lost.

Providing an in-depth account of crucial events, while looking beyond politics to consider the role of music, art and popular culture, Sayeed powerfully traces Britain’s current malaise back to its origins.
 
Contents
Acknowledgements
 
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
7 Systemic risks
 
Conclusion: Crisis
 
Notes
 
Review Quotes
Owen Jones, columnist
“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.”
Ellie Mae O'Hagan, openDemocracy
“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 and is vital for anybody hoping to understand how a once-triumphant and optimistic nation became so polarised, and its politics so volatile.”
Andy McSmith, author of No Such Thing as Society: A History of Britain in the 1980s
“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?”
Alwyn W. Turner, author of A Classless Society: Britain in the 1990s
“A vital book that combines great storytelling with fresh insights, and says as much about the present as the recent past.”
Andy McSmith, author of No Such Thing as Society: A History of Britain in the 1980s
“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?”
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