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All Together Now?

Mike Carter

The Road to Wigan Pier for the 21st Century.

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‘This important, disturbing and frequently heartbreaking book should be read by every politician in Westminster.’ Adrian Tempany, Observer

‘In a few weeks’ time, it would be thirty-five years to the day since those men and women had walked 340 miles to try to save their communities and their culture, and thirty-five years since I had turned down Pete’s invitation to join them. I called work and booked some time off. Then I bought a one-way train ticket to Liverpool.’

In 1981, Mike Carter’s dad, Pete, organised the People’s March for Jobs, which saw 300 people walk from Liverpool to London to protest as the Thatcher government’s policies devastated industrial Britain and sent unemployment skyrocketing. Just before the 2016 EU referendum, Mike set off to walk the same route in a quest to better understand his dad and his country.

As he walked, Mike found many echoes of the early eighties: a working class overlooked and ignored by Westminster politicans; communities hollowed out but fiercely resistant; anger and despair co-existing with hope and determination for change. And he also found that he and Pete shared more in common than he might have thought.

All Together Now? maps the intricate, overlapping path of one man’s journey and that of an entire country. It is a book about belonging, about whether to stay or go, and about the need to write new stories for our communities and ourselves.

Critic Reviews

Beautifully written, compassionate and urgent.

Christopher Eccleston
Critic Reviews

A searing critique of how 40 years of neoliberalism has ruined the lives of ordinary people . . . Carter is a lovely writer, with an engaging, lyrical style; his tone is sympathetic but rarely sentimental, and the chapters are evenly spaced out along the route . . . this important, disturbing and frequently heartbreaking book should be read by every politician in Westminster.

Adrian Tempany, Observer
Critic Reviews

An engaging blend of walking and talking . . . backed up by extensive reading and research.

Blake Morrison, Guardian
Critic Reviews

A contemporary take on William Cobbett … Carter uses walking to sensitively investigate the state of the nation

Jon Day, Financial Times
Critic Reviews

Lucid prose … More insight into the state of the nation than any number of column inches by the pundits in the so-called quality press

John Green, Morning Star
Critic Reviews

All Together Now? is Carter’s furious account of how his country has changed since 1981, a riveting portrait . . . Compassionate and lucid, Carter fuses impression and analysis into a compelling state-of-the-nation study.

Brendan Daly, Irish Examiner