SUMMER READING: New David Kynaston book about a Shots season coming out in August!

Shots in the Dark
A Diary of Saturday Dreams and Strange Times
by David Kynaston

6th August 2020 | £16.99 | 

Hardback | 9781408898987 | eBook | Bloomsbury

One of the great chroniclers of our modern story
– The Sunday Times (praise for Modernity Britain)


Written over a single football season, one of Britain’s greatest social historians offers up his most personal take on the year changed everything.

Life might have been simpler for David Kynaston if his father hadn’t taken him to his first Aldershot Town FC match, almost sixty years ago – but those years have taught him that tribalism and decency are not necessarily incompatible – a lesson he’s clinging onto in these darkening times.

Shots in the Dark is the diary he kept in the football season of 2016/17. It details the ups and downs of ‘The Shots’ in the year that marked a major rupture for the UK and the wider world: the fallout of the divisive referendum on Europe; the ascension of Donald Trump to the White House; Theresa May’s bungled General Election; and the deaths of several public figures including Leonard Cohen, Martin McGuinness and Chuck Berry.

A diary is a diary, full of partial judgements, overheated reactions and rash predictions – the faintly malicious delight for future historians. This diary, written between July 2016 and May 2017, is no exception.

– David Kynaston

A personal take on Britain’s turbulent recent history, and a testament to the ways in which fandom can give solidity and security to our lives, Shots in the Dark gets to the heart of what it means to be a devoted follower of a sports team.

David Kynaston was born in Aldershot in 1951 overlooking the football ground. He was seven and a half years old when he attended his first Aldershot Town FC match in the early months of 1959. So began a deep attachment to the game and a lifelong loyalty. He estimates that he has seen the team play close to 500 times.

A professional historian since 1973, he has written extensively on post-war Britain; on the City of London; on cricket; and on the private school question. Shots in the Dark is his first football book. He is based in Surrey, and available for interview, features, broadcast and comment.