Buy Used
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Get this book fast, expedited shipping available.
Trade in your item
Get a £0.34
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

All Must Have Prizes Paperback – 5 Feb 1998

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
£59.46 £0.01

Trade In this Item for up to £0.34
Trade in All Must Have Prizes for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £0.34, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New edition edition (5 Feb. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751522740
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751522747
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Melanie Phillips is a British journalist, author, publisher and co-founder of EM: Melanie Phillips Electric Media. She started on the left of the political spectrum, writing for The Guardian and New Statesman. During the 1990s she moved to the right, and currently writes for the Daily Mail, covering political and social issues from a social conservative perspective. Phillips defines herself as a liberal who has "been mugged by reality".

Phillips has often appeared as a panelist on the BBC Radio 4 programme The Moral Maze and BBC One's Question Time. She has written a number of books, including Guardian Angel: My Story, My Britain (2013). She was awarded the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 1996, while she was writing for The Observer. She published her memoir, Guardian Angel: My Story, My Britain on 5 May 2013.

Melanie Phillips was educated at St Anne's College, Oxford. Before joining the Daily Mail she worked for the Guardian, the Observer and the Sunday Times. She writes a monthly column for the London Jewish Chronicle, is a regular panelist on BBC Radio Four's The Moral Maze, and frequently contributes to other publications around the world including Standpoint magazine, the Spectator, the Australian and Wall Street Journal.

Her print titles include The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth and Power, published in the US by Encounter in 2010, and Londonistan, an analysis of Britain's appeasement of Islamist extremism published in US in 2006 by Encounter and in the UK by Gibson Square.

Her other books include The Ascent of Woman, Little Brown, 2003, The Sex-Change Society: Feminised Britain and the Neutered Male, Social Market Foundation, 1999; All Must Have Prizes, Warner, 1996. She also wrote a play, Traitors, which was performed at the Drill Hall in London in 1985.

Product Description


Prophetic and provocative, this is likely to become the most discussed work of social criticism since Allan Bloom's THE CLOSING OF THE AMERICAN MIND. (Jonathan Sacks)

... [a] seminal book... the issues Phillips discusses are what really matter... it is deeply disturbing that so many educationalists appear unable to accept any evidence which challenges their own complacency and prejudice. (Chris Woodhead, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools, SUNDAY TIMES)

An awesome polemic... If we fudge her questions, we will be courting disaster... The reader is swept along by this passion which is linked to superb writing and a fiercely independent mind. (GUARDIAN)

Essential reading (SPECTATOR)

Book Description

* Devasting attack on British education standards by a prizewinning journalist.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The University of Oxford is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 14 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Jonathon M. Stenner on 26 April 2009
Format: Paperback
I have been a secondary school teacher for 20 years an I have seen the moral chaos at first hand in some schools, in others, key members of senior management have decided to stop the rot and been successful in doing so. In my classes, I have always adopted a didactic and disciplinarian approach - if you decide to follow this course than you have to kiss your career good bye; if you want to be senior management, then a PC approach is the key, with lots of child-centered BS in your CV to help your application along. Student voice is one example of the madness, where children interview prospective teachers, I refuse to allow this. Melanie Philips cleverly analyses the causes for the moral breakdown and gives some fairly heavyweight intellectual support for her opinions. At times she takes the words of extreme progressives too seriously - common sense prevails at the end of the day - it has to. I found this very stimulating and well worth a read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By julian davies on 2 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
Please, Melanie Phillips, write an updated version of All Must Have Prizes.

This excellent book was recommended to me by a friend with whom I had been discussing the academic car-crash that is our modern education system.

I just do not understand what my 11 year-old is doing at secondary school. She has 2 languages on her timetable but no text book for either. She spouts totally random bits of French or German, unable to link the remote islands of linguistic knowledge that she has learned, for want of ability to conjugate common verbs. She earned praise for her Humanities project on a topic, the working title of which should have been "Why all immigration, and all immigrants, are unquestionably such great things for a country as miserable as ours." It was pure left-wing political propaganda on the national curriculum. (Apparantly the Romans were immigrants......)

Not reading the Mail or Spectator, I am familiar with Melanie Phillips primarily as a contributor on Radio 4's Moral Maze, and would not share some of her views, on for example climate change or the Middle East.

On this topic however, I see her conclusions and rationale perfectly matching the evidence. She hits a good number of nails on the head with force.
Read more ›
6 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 April 2007
Format: Hardcover
This trenchant 1996 polemic against the modern style of education is one of the most one-sided books I have ever read. But that does not mean it can be ignored.

Neither the school where I am about to conclude 20 years as a governor, nor the school which my own children currently attend, bear much resemblance to the picture painted in this book.

However, I did see hints of this picture in the school where I was previously a governor. More to the point, I have met far too many parents, teachers, and employers who do recognise the stories in this book as a description of what has been inflicted on their children, pupils, or new employees, to lightly dismiss them. The arguments presented by Melanie Phillips may not apply to every school, perhaps they don't even apply to the majority of schools, but they do seem to have some relevance as a description of what went wrong in the late 20th century in too many unsuccessful British schools.

From the newpaper articles by the author and her close intellectual ally, former head of the schools inspectorate Phillip Woodhead, I am sure she would argue that these problems have not been solved - and sadly she probably has a point.

The author would now be considered on matters of education to be a conservative (with a small c - this means someone of traditional views, who does not necessarily also support the Conservative party, with a large C.) A conservative is sometimes described as "A liberal who has been mugged by reality". Melanie Phillips started out as a "liberal" (e.g. left wing) Guardian journalist with all the fashionable progressive ideas associated with that position. On one or two issues she still is, witness the sideswipes at Mrs Thatcher which occasionally occur in the book.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RR Waller TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Tempered by experience, her liberal views and approaches to education changed dramatically and she is now well-known as a far right-winger.
Although her views do not suit everyone - one could almost say she is a "marmite" experience - they do deserve to be considered; she gives many examples to support her views and certainly has some passionately held beliefs. From Margaret Thatcher's autobiography, I recall her stating she asked Kenneth Baker to ensure a little more basic teaching in English and Maths to raise what she felt were lowering standards. Phillips calls this "The National Curriculum Debacle" in a lengthy chapter analysing its history.
Her views on education, culture and parenting may seem extreme but, for many, the recent riots (August 2011) seem to vindicate her views.
Read it - smile and applaud or seeth and rip it up. Bored you will not be.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews