Faber Radio Presents:
Musical World

By Faber Editor, 3 August 2023

Jeffrey Boakye takes us on a journey through modern world history in this playlist featuring the music from his new book, Musical World: Modern World History as You’ve Never Heard it Before.
Musical World by Jeffrey Boakye
Musical World can be described as a history playlist that you’ve never heard before, but what does that mean?

The book is a collection of songs that take you on a journey through modern world history, spanning generations and continents. In this way, readers can be immersed in the sounds of history, soundtracking different moments in history and meeting a whole range of artists along the way. Add it all up and you get an exploration of some of the biggest historic moments in human history, including: the US Civil Rights movement, the different waves of Feminism, South African apartheid, the AIDS crisis, colonialism, the Scramble for Africa, Cuban protests, LGBTQ rights, Black Lives Matter and much, much more.

The music is glorious. I had so much fun revisiting songs I know well and discovering new music that I was not so familiar with. The beauty of a book like this is that every reader, no matter how old (or young), is able to find a window of songs that they will know from their own lives. I like my writing to speak across generations, and Musical World is no exception.

My previous book Musical Truth is a journey through modern Black British history. In Musical World, I wanted to take the same approach to global conversations of power and politics, via the sounds of popular music. In a way, it’s the natural follow-up, looking at similar themes as well as new perspectives. Here, there were some nice surprises too. I learned things writing this book, about the way nations and countries have interacted over time and many stories that I wasn’t exposed to when I was at school myself.

It sounds almost overwhelming, but through music, huge conversations can be highlighted and explored in a manageable way. In this sense, Musical World is a spotlight on world history for younger and older readers alike. It’s a book that’s full of stories big and small, featuring whole countries and specific individuals. It’s an invitation to understand modern world history in a new, musical light, and celebrate stories of protest, oppression, struggle and joy. I can’t wait to share this book with new audiences and hopefully help push towards powerful, and musical, insights.

Buy the Book
Jeffrey Boakye

From the critically acclaimed author of Musical Truth comes a new soundtrack to pivotal historical moments from around the world.

About the Author

Jeffrey Boakye is an author, broadcaster, educator and journalist with a particular interest in issues surrounding race, masculinity, education and popular culture. Originally from Brixton in London, Jeffrey has taught secondary English for fifteen years. He is senior teaching fellow at the University of Manchester and has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Leicester.

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About the Author
Portrait of author Jeffrey Boakye