Two of my latest reads have been Melvyn Bragg’s memoir of growing up in mid-20th century, working class Cumbria, Back in the Day, and Alwyn Turner’s canter through early 21st century British politics, All In It Together. They make quite an instructive contrast. Bragg’s warm perspective on postwar optimism – despite material hardships – complements his own story of academic success through grammar school and Oxford scholarships. Turner’s jolly but fundamentally pessimistic account of a materially far richer country is a contribution to the large and sadly still-growing literature on the UK’s decline. Both good reads, although as a working class kid from the north west who clambered the social ladder via grammar school scholarship and Oxford (albeit 20+ years later) I particularly enjoyed Back in the Day: pick according to your mood.