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Being British: What's Wrong With It? [Hardcover]

Peter Whittle
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 11.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 Jun 2012
The Queen s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and last year s Royal wedding are events that should have created a wave of patriotism across the land. But Britannia no longer rules the waves and a land once typified by its self-assurance and enterprise is now weighed down by the history of its decline from greatness afraid even to celebrate its past glories, achievements seemingly tainted by jingoism and colonialism. Nor are its peers afraid to exploit such weaknesses. David Cameron s veto of a European treaty to save the Euro unleashed a torrent of anti-British invective that was more than simply cosmetic; President Obama has seemingly gone out of his way to demonstrate how little weight the so-called special relationship carries with him. Britain even faces challenges from within, with the Scottish Parliament pressing for an end to the Union. With Britain s values and status maligned and the subject of sneers, no wonder its people are in the midst of an identity crisis. Spurred on by the vexed question of what Britishness actually means, Whittle sets out to examine what, if anything, is actually wrong with being British? More than that, Being British is a humorous and anecdote-packed celebration at the Britain of today, covering some of our greatest national institutions, habits and characters. This is a landmark book as Britain struggles to cement its place in the twenty first century.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: BiteBack Publishing (6 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849543267
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849543262
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 769,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"a new and insightful book" -- Jenny McCartney , Daily Telegraph

"(a) Snappy little book" --Metro

"Let me recommend this book to anyone who is perturbed by what has been going on and would like to see the hopeful signs to develop into something more lasting." --New Culture Forum

"The main argument of the book is entirely accurate. Britain has created many good things in the country and in the world though often those who did the creating were the ones who found many of the solid British virtues tiresome and stifling, a curious contradiction noted by George Orwell many years ago, but those achievements have been deliberately denied and belittled by a weird self-hating elite" --Conservative History Journal

About the Author

Peter Whittle is the author of various books about Britain, and is also a columnist for Standpoint magazine. A respected commentator, he appears regularly on TV and radio and has contributed to titles such as The Sunday Times, the Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Mail. He is also the founder and director of the New Culture Forum.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hits the Nail on The Head ! 16 Jun 2012
By Duncurin VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A wonderful book, one that I really enjoyed mainly because the author has not shrunk away from discussing many of the issues that face Britain and ongoing internal problems. It's an uncomfortable but necessary and illuminating read.

My father came to Edinburgh Uni. as a student in the 1930's He came from a nasty apartheid state and what he experienced in the UK was a revelation. He no longer had to look whether a shop had "whites only" outside and people were fair and kind. He thought that British people were amazing and of course Britain the best country in the world. I am sorry in a way that English people cannot see themselves through his eyes, for they could and should be very proud of the people they are and their achievements on a world scale. It was inevitable that he should marry an English girl and though they had two diametrically opposed religions as well as political views: they always managed to show us kids that the areas of agreement were of much more importance that those where they disagreed. In addition he would always purchase British goods as he not only believed them to be the best, but he also wanted to support the nation he admired so much. Indeed his greatest wish was to become more and more English not to seek to apologise for it on any level. My dad died 30 years ago and I suspect that today he would not recognise much of the country he so admired.

The book simmers along beautifully but I think that Chapter4 is such a well presented and cogent analysis of many of the problems that beset us. In addition the discussion on queuing, lack of decorum in public places and of course the "Scottish Question" - for me spot on. When I am out and about I now try to turn the arguments subtly.
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