A State of Play: British Politics on Screen, Stage and Page, from Anthony Trollope to The Thick of it
By: Professor Steven Fielding (author)Paperback
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A State of Play explores how the British have imagined their politics, from the parliament worship of Anthony Trollope to the cynicism of The Thick of It. In an account that mixes historical with political analysis, Steven Fielding argues that fictional depictions of politics have played an important but insidious part in shaping how the British think about their democracy and have helped ventilate their many frustrations with Westminster. He shows that dramas and fictions have also performed a significant role in the battle of ideas, in a way undreamt of by those who draft party manifestos. The book examines the work of overtly political writers have treated the subject, discussing the novels of H.G. Wells, the comedy series Yes, Minister and the plays of David Hare. However, it also assesses how less obvious sources, such as the films of George Formby, the novels of Agatha Christie, the Just William stories and situation comedies like Steptoe and Son, have reflected on representative democracy. A State of Play is an invaluable, distinctive and engaging guide to a new way of thinking about Britain's political past and present.
Steven Fielding is Professor of Political History in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham, UK, where he is also Director of the Centre for British Politics. His books include England Arise! The Labour Party and Popular Politics in 1940s Britain (1995, with Peter Thompson and Nick Tiratsoo) and The Labour Party: Continuity and Change in the Making of 'New' Labour (2003). He is a regular writer and broadcaster on the fictional representation of formal politics.
Acknowledgements Introduction: Depicting democracy Chapter One: Parliament worship Chapter Two: Disappointing democracy Chapter Three: The people's war and after Chapter Four: Imagining the post-war consensus Chapter Five: The established order undermined Chapter Six: The televised crisis Chapter Seven: Yes, conspirator Chapter Eight: Still no job for a lady Chapter Nine: A thick ending Epilogue: What would Plato say? Bibliography Index
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