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Mind the Gap: The New Class Divide in Britain [Kindle Edition]

Ferdinand Mount
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Through acute observation and vivid illustration - drawing on every aspect of life from soap operas, speech patterns and gardening to education and the distribution of wealth - he demolishes the illusion that we live in a classless society and shows how the worst-off in Britain today are more culturally deprived than their parents or grandparents. The author's solutions, like his explanations of what has gone wrong, are original, surprising and unsparing to intellectuals and politicians of all parties.

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"A rollicking account of the class divide in 21st-century Britain" Simon Jenkins, Sunday Times "an excellent book that breaks with tradition... with refreshing humanity" The Spectator "A book which offers the first real breath of fresh air in Conservative thinking since the Thatcher revolutionaries imposed their own intellectual orthodoxy" Polly Toynbee "A brilliant book which analyses the ways the working class has been consistently denigrated and disempowered." London Review of Books " A splendid book: sparky, persuasive and brave". Evening Standard "Beautifully written, deftly argued - and true" Matthew Paris

About the Author

Ferdinand Mount is a former editor of the TLS and columnist for the Sunday Times. He was head of the Number Ten Policy Unit and director of the Centre for Policy Studies. He is the author of several books including most recently his memoir, Cold Cream, which was a widely acclaimed bestseller. He is married with three grown-up children and lives with his wife in Islington.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 571 KB
  • Publisher: Short Books; 3rd Revised edition edition (15 Feb. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #130,374 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mind the Chap 5 Mar. 2012
By Ant
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This isn't a bad book. At times it's quite interesting, and given the author's pedigree, age and Conservative party background, one suspects that the great political thinker of our time "Just Call Me Dave" studied this book relentlessly when forming his social policies. Knowing that the first edition is 2004, it's uncanny how many of the off-the-cuff ideas Mount proposes have found their way into current Conservative policy. Too many to name. However, the annoying thing with "Mind The Gap" is that it is not really about the "The New Class Divide in Britain" as the sub-title suggests. It is pitched as a comparison of class in modern Britain, but in fact is survey of various writings or speeches on class in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Mount is not disingenuous, he states his aims and the limits of his experience at the outset, but as he remarks, the book is an essay, and as with any good school essay, there are plenty of long and worthy quotations from more learned fellows. Indeed, one almost suspects that this work has been designed and shaped by publisher to put another book on class out there. The book relies heavily on notions of class gained from 19th century literature, and seems oblivious to the fact that there is a mountain of solid academic research on class and society where class specimens have been met and interviewed. It is somewhat ironic that one of Mount's principal gripes is that the political system devises and implements schemes to better the lower class, without ever asking them what they want. Yet in his very own inquiry, he does the very same thing: plenty of reading and theorising on class, but no actual discussions with the blessed riff-raff (at least none documented). Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The class divide in Britain 20 Feb. 2013
In this book on the class structure in Britain, Ferdinand Mount starts with an historical analysis of the different interpretations of what is meant by `class', taking his examples largely from the history of the past 200 years. This includes such things as the roles of education, social convention, earnings and personal expectations. The meat of the book is his assertion that the worst-off in Britain today are more culturally deprived than their parents or grandparents. The evidence he cites for this includes the destruction of institutions created and used by working people, such as Literary Institutes with libraries, Friendly Societies for health provision, and non conformist chapels and churches. This has mainly been due to the actions of the middle class, which has assumed that `they know best'. This attitude is now endemic, with television channels condescendingly showing mainly an endless diet of mindless trashy soaps, panel games, and celebrity chat shows. Politicians, dominantly middle class, have also played an important role in establishing state education and health provision, but the noble ideals behind these have not been fully realized, leading to much frustration. Despite this, Parliament still enacts legislation that intrudes further into our lives, removing the need for self-help, without correcting, or often even admitting, mistakes of the past. As a consequence, there is a lessening of taking responsibility for oneself and one's family, and an increased expectation that `others will take care of things'. The result is a growing gap, cultural, educational and economic, between the `Uppers' and the `Downers', as Mount calls them, and increasing despair amongst the latter. It is a depressing picture. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 25 Oct. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed and found it very informative and well written. Would recommend if you're interesting in British class, no matter what class you are. Insightful and interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary 27 Jun. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book explains just who rules Britain and why the government is always interfering with our ways of life. Why do we vote it only encourages them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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