Walls Come Tumbling Down
The music and politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge




In August 1976, Eric Clapton made an inflammatory speech in support of Enoch Powell and ‘black’ repatriation, sparking an anti-racism campaign that would soon radicalize an entire generation. The following sixteen years saw politics and pop music come together as never before, to challenge racism, gender inequality, and social and class divisions. For the first time in UK history, musicians became instigators of social change, and their political persuasion as important as the songs they sang.

Through the voices of campaigners, musicians, artists and politicians, Daniel Rachel charts this extraordinary and pivotal period, following the rise and fall of three key movements, Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge, revealing how they both shaped, and were shaped by, the music of a generation.

Consisting of new and exclusive in-depth conversations with over one hundred contributors – including Pauline Black, Billy Bragg, Jerry Dammers, Phill Jupitus, Neil Kinnock, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Tom Robinson, Clare Short, Tracey Thorn and many more – Walls Come Tumbling Down is a fascinating, polyphonic and authoritative account, fully illustrated with many rare or previously unpublished images from some of the greatest music photographers.


  • A Radio 2 Book of the Week
  • Amazon No.1 Best Seller
  • ‘A triumphant oral history’ Guardian
  • ‘A colossal and brilliant book’ BBC 6 Music
  • ‘Superlative oral history’ Q Magazine
  • ‘Brilliant insight Mojo
  • ‘Absorbing an intriguing’ Louder Than Words
  • ‘A majestic work’ Wire
  • ‘Glorious’ New Statesman (Tracey Thorn)
  • ‘Immediate and engrossing’ Socialist Review
  • ‘Superb’ Coventry Telegraph
  • ‘An amazing oral history’ Billy Bragg

Daniel discusses the Walls Come Tumbling Down with Jean at Picador

Daniel selects and talk through key records from the peroid

Daniel reads from the opening chapter of Walls Come Tumbling Down

Sputnik TV interview with George Galloway

Danniel discusses the book at the Birmingham Literay Festival

The Walls Come Tumbling Down tapes: interviews, outakes and extras from  Walls Come Tumbling Down. Click here.