The Gift of a Radio

The Gift of a Radio

My Childhood and other Train Wrecks

Summary

'Searingly honest... gripping... fascinating and hugely entertaining.'- Sunday Times

'Moving and frank ... A story of a childhood defined by loneliness, the absence of a father and the grim experience of a Quaker boarding school. It is also one of the most perceptive accounts of Britain in the 1970s.'- Misha Glenny

'A crisp, unself-pitying memoir of a 'trainwreck' youth ... I've always likes Webb on the radio. But I like him much more after reading this book. He offers precisely the kind of brisk honesty and considered analysis he expects from his interviewees. Our politicians should all read it, and step up their game.' -Telegraph
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Justin Webb's childhood in the 1970s was far from ordinary.

Between his mother's un-diagnosed psychological problems, and his step-father's untreated ones, life at home was dysfunctional at best. But with gun-wielding school masters and sub-standard living conditions, Quaker boarding school wasn't much better.

Candid, unsparing and darkly funny, Justin Webb's memoir is as much a portrait of a troubled era as it is the story of a dysfunctional childhood, shaping the urbane and successful radio presenter we know and love now.
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'I thoroughly enjoyed Justin Webb's bonkers childhood. He captures the middle class of the age with a tenacity only possible in one of its victims.' -Jeremy Paxman

Reviews

  • A gripping memoir ... fascinating and hugely entertaining. It's extremely thoughtful and shockingly honest.
    Christina Patterson, Sunday Times

About the author

Justin Webb

JUSTIN WEBB is the longest serving presenter of BBC Radio 4's flagship news and current affairs programme 'Today.' For the best part of four decades, he has been a voice on the airwaves or a presence on our TV screens. He joined the BBC in 1984 as a trainee, and has reported from around the world, as a war correspondent in the Gulf and in Bosnia, on the break-up of the former Soviet Union and the first democratic elections in South Africa. He was Europe Correspondent when the Euro was introduced, and for eight years he was the chief correspondent in Washington DC. Among his awards is Political Journalist of the Year, which he won for his coverage of the Obama presidential campaign. He's a regular columnist in The Times and for the Unherd website. He lives with his family in South London.
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