Spreading good words around...
Spreading good words around...

Mostly we had it good: a baby boomer's journey in the lucky post-war bubble

When Prime Minister Harold Macmillan famously stated, ‘You’ve never had it so good’, the 10-year-old Tim Albert was being miserable, stuck on a hill in an all-boys school. But despite an at times unhappy start, some dreadful mistakes and a rather unpleasant illness, he came to realise that he had been born in a lucky place and at a lucky time – and was lucky to be still alive. In this idiosyncratic and insightful look at the second half of the twentieth century, the author combines family material with his own recollections and writings as a journalist. He drops, albeit briefly, such names as Teddy Kennedy, EM Forster, Libby Purves, Jimmy Savile and Saddam Hussein. He also witnesses such historic milestones as the post war recovery, the drive for fairer education – and the first attacks on the NHS. 

‘I was totally hooked, spending the rest of the day reading it until I had finished. It is beautifully written and full of enthralling facts... a rare good autobiography’  - Dr Stephen Lock, former editor, BMJ


'Each episode is tethered to reality by evidence retrieved from his treasure trove. Tim writes like a journalist who has access to the Albert famiily hoard and is writing the biography of a subject who just happens to be himself' - Michael O'Donnell, Medical Journalists Association. 


'A lovely book. Witty, gentle and very evocative' - Liz Langley

The treasures that inspired me to write this book

It was stuff that started it. Things that I had inherited or created, such as letters to and between my parents, the estate agent's particulars for my childhood home, my early school reports, a diary from a trip to America in the memorable year of 1969 - and latterly articles I had written on, among other things, education and health. This material spurred me on to do something I had not done for decades – write something because I wanted to, and not because it was part of my job.
It has taken much longer than I thought – nearly seven years. But it has led me not just to recollections, but also discoveries. I hope that my account of this journey will be of interest to those baby-boomers who lived through it  - and to those who were born more recently. Both groups, I hope, will find it entertaining. 


1. 1950s: the unwinds of war

In which I discover the joys of family life - and the anguish of losing it

Click here to read sample chapter: early memories


2. 1960s: a tale of two certainties

In which I endure schooling, enjoy education and find my views moving to the left

Click here to read sample chapter: first day at Douai School

Click here to read sample chapter: my American dream


3. 1970s: brave new world, soon perhaps

In which I embark on the reporter's trade, mix with the big boys, lose one love and gain another

Click here to read sample chapter: a cub reporter


4. 1980s: health care blues

In which I learn about the world of doctors, import a soulmate and wander into the new digital age


5. 1990s: fronting up

In which I become a small businessman and try to persuade doctors that clear writing might have its advantages

Click here to read sample chapter : The newsletter pandemic


Publisher: Elbow Publishing

235 pages, 16 pages of illustrations

Paperback: £8.99


Kindle edition: £4.99

ISBN: 978-0-9574090-7-1

Publication date: 17 July 2017

'Beautifully written ... a rare good autobiography'


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Talks now available: topics include the rise of the baby boomers and memories of a country newspaper 50 years ago. Click for details

Winning the publications game: the groundbreaking book on writing scientific papers.

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© Tim Albert 2016