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This book evokes a Britain emerging from the shadow of war and the privations of austerity and rationing into growing affluence. Peter Hennessy takes his readers into the front-rooms where the Coronation was watched on television, to the classrooms and new coffee bars of 1950s Britain - and also into the secret Cabinet rooms in which decisions about the British nuclear bomb were taken and plans made for the catastrophe of nuclear war. He brings to life the ageing Churchill, in his last faltering spell as Prime Minister, the highly-strung Anthony Eden taking his country to war in the teeth of American opposition and world opinion, and the rise of 'Supermac' Harold Macmillan, gliding over problems with his Edwardian insouciance. It is not just an account of a period, but a reliving of it.