Don’t Look Back In Anger: The rise & fall of Cool Britannia, told by those who were there


The nineties was the decade when British culture reclaimed its position at the artistic centre of the world. Not since the ‘Swinging Sixties’ had art, comedy, fashion, film, football, literature and music interwoven into a blooming of national self-confidence. It was the decade of Lad Culture and Girl Power; of Blur vs Oasis. When fashion runways shone with British talent, Young British Artists became household names, football was ‘coming home’ and British film went worldwide. From Old Labour’s defeat in 1992 through to New Labour’s historic landslide in 1997, Don’t Look Back In Anger chronicles the Cool Britannia age when the country united through a resurgence of patriotism and a celebration of all things British.

But it was also an era of false promises and misplaced trust, when the weight of substance was based on the airlessness of branding, spin and the first stirrings of celebrity culture. A decade that started with hope then ended with the death of the ‘people’s princess’ and 9/11 – an event that redefined a new world order.

Through sixty-eight voices that epitomise the decade – including Tony Blair, John Major, Noel Gallagher, Damon Albarn, Tracey Emin, Keith Allen, Meera Syal, David Baddiel, Irvine Welsh and Steve Coogan – we re-live the epic highs and crashing lows of one of the most eventful periods in British history. Today, in an age where identity dominates the national agenda, Don’t Look Back In Anger is a necessary and compelling historical document.


A grade, A list oral history…through this shifting, twisting narrative, Rachel creates a potent record SUNDAY TIMES

 A rollicking read….a tale of hedonism and opportunism, of great hope and dashed expectations MAIL ON SUNDAY

 Eminently, moreishly readable NEW STATESMAN

 Entertaining OBSERVER

A fascinating step back to right before the web, smartphones and streaming changed the face of culture STYLIST

I tore through it, savouring every high and low point of this hazy, hard-to-define epoch EVENING STANDARD

Book of the Week GUARDIAN

 The tumult, the triumph and the toilery of the 90s…a who’s who of the decade, chocked full of anecdotes from all the runners and riders SHAUN KEAVENY, BBC 6 MUSIC 

The story of Cool Britannia: from the ecstasy fuelled euphoria of the summer of love to the moment the serotonin ran out TOM SUTCLIFFE, BBC RADIO 4

An excellent book, superbly put together. I absolutely devoured it CHRIS WARBURTON, BBC RADIO 5 LIVE 

It’s really good if you are interested in the 1990s ALAN MCGEE 

We guarantee, this will change the way you think about the era you lived through DAVID HEPWORTH 

Daniel’s got an enviable knack of being able to explain really complicated analysis very clearly. It’s so original to read about the 90s that takes in all those different perspectives – politics, art, sport, media etc. – and doesn’t just paint a picture of a heap of cocaine with Noel Gallagher in the middle of it MARK ELLEN

I very much enjoyed reminiscing with Daniel about the 90s and the extraordinarily rich and diverse period for British culture. The political landscape was also interesting as I recall!  – a great book  TONY BLAIR 

A remarkable compilation of interviews offering a vividly detailed chronicle of the extraordinary burst of cultural energy – across pop music, fashion, fiction, TV, film contemporary art and football – that characterised the 90s ART REVIEW

This is, without question, the definitive telling of what Britain was in the nineties, who Britain became and how that has come to define the times we live in now. M.M.A