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Book Title: Strange Days Indeed: The Golden Age of Paranoia|
The author of the book: Francis Wheen
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 16.58 MB
Edition: Fourth Estate Ltd
Date of issue: September 3rd 2009
ISBN 13: 9780007244270
Read full description of the books Strange Days Indeed: The Golden Age of Paranoia:A jaw-droppingly brilliant account of how the seventies was defined by mass paranoia told with Francis Wheen's wonderfully acute sense of the absurd. The nostalgic whiff of the seventies evokes memories of loons and disco, Abba and Fawlty Towers. However, beneath the long hair it was really a theme park of mass paranoia. Strange Days Indeed tells the story of the decade that a young Francis Wheen walked into having pronounced he was dropping out to join the alternative society. Instead of the optimistic dreams of the sixties he found a world on the verge of a collective nervous breakdown, huddled over candles waiting for the next terrorist bomb, kidnapping or food shortage warning. Whether it was Nixon's demented behaviour in the White House, Harold Wilson's insistence that 'they' (whoever 'they' were) were out to get him, or the trial of Rupert Bear, it is a story almost too fantastical to be true. With his brilliantly acute sense of the absurd Francis Wheen slices through the pungent melange of mistrust and conspiratorial fever to expose the sickly form of a decade in which nations were brought to a sclerotic halt by power cuts, military coups, economic anarchy and the arrival of Uri Geller. Since the Great Crash of our generation barely a week passes without some allusion to that distant decade. As we are consumed by the heady stench of our own collective meltdown, there is no better guide than Francis Wheen to shine his Swiftian light on the true nature of the era that has returned to haunt us. Amidst the chaos Strange Days Indeed is an hilarious and jaw-droppingly revealing chronicle of the golden age of the paranoid style.
About the Author: Francis Wheen is an author and journalist who was named Columnist of the Year for his contributions to the Guardian. He a regular contributor to Private Eye and is the author of several books, including a highly acclaimed biography of Karl Marx which has been translated into twenty-two languages and the bestselling How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World. He recently wrote the screen play for The Lavender List, a biopic on Harold Wilson's last days in government. His collected journalism, Hoo-Hahs and Passing Frenzies, won the George Orwell prize in 2003.
Read information about the authorFrancis James Baird Wheen (born 22 January 1957) is a British journalist, writer and broadcaster.
Wheen was educated at Copthorne Prep School, Harrow School and Royal Holloway College, University of London. At Harrow he was a contemporary of Mark Thatcher who has been a recurring subject of his journalism. He is a member of the 'soap' side of the Wheen family, whose family business was the long-established "Wheen & Sons", soap-makers, as was revealed in the gossip column of the Daily Mail on 26 March 2007. He was married to the writer Joan Smith between 1985 and 1993.
He is the author of several books including a biography of Karl Marx, which won the Isaac Deutscher prize. A column for The Guardian ran for several years. He writes for Private Eye and is the magazine's deputy editor. His collected journalism – Hoo-hahs and Passing Frenzies won him the George Orwell Prize in 2003. He has also been a regular columnist for the London Evening Standard.
Wheen broadcasts regularly (mainly on BBC Radio 4) and is a regular panellist on The News Quiz, in which he often referred to the fact that he resembles the former Tory party leader Iain Duncan Smith. He is also one of the more frequently recruited guests for Have I Got News For You.
Wheen wrote a docudrama, The Lavender List, for BBC Four on the final period of Harold Wilson's premiership, concentrating on his relationship with Marcia Williams, which was first screened in March 2006. It starred Kenneth Cranham as former Prime Minister Wilson and Gina McKee as Williams. In April 2007 the BBC paid £75,000 to Williams (Baroness Falkender) in an out-of-court settlement over claims made in the programme.
Francis Wheen is a signatory to the Euston Manifesto and a close friend of Christopher Hitchens. In late-2005 Wheen was co-author, with journalist David Aaronovitch and blogger Oliver Kamm, of a complaint to The Guardian after it published a correction and apology for an interview with Noam Chomsky by Emma Brockes. Chomsky complained that the article suggested he denied the Srebrenica massacre of 1995. The writer Diana Johnstone also complained about references to her in the interview. The Guardian's then readers' editor Ian Mayes found that this had misrepresented Chomsky's position, and his judgement was upheld in May 2006 by an external ombudsman, John Willis. In his report for the Guardian, Willis detailed his reasons for rejecting the argument.
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