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Out of the Ashes: Britain After the Riots

Out of the Ashes: Britain After the Riots [Kindle Edition]

David Lammy
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product Description


This is one of the best political books of 2012 (Mark D’arcy, Bbc Politics Online)

Out Of The Ashes is full of ideas and insight, and presents a politician with a genuine understanding of the difficulties and fears of the people he represents - a quality we're going to need as much of as possible in the years ahead (Huffington Post UK)

Lammy offers thoughtful arguments about immigration, work, masculinity and crime and punishment (New Statesman)

Part memoir, part political essay, Out of the Ashes aims to "offer a way forward for Britain" following this summer's riots. This is an ambitious task. But David Lammy hits the ground running ... and his book demands to be read (David Matthews Guardian)

Compelling (Independent)

Book Description

The MP for Tottenham examines the riots of August 2011

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 641 KB
  • Print Length: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Guardian Books (18 Sep 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009DMM2YS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #281,910 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
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than the Average Politician's Book 23 Nov 2011
David Lammy grew up near the Broadwater Farm estate; he spent much of his childhood without his father; he understood, as a boy on a scholarship to a private school, what it was like to be black in a white man's world; and he knew first hand the tensions of living in a deprived area. You might expect this to at least give him an edge of bitterness, or at any rate to indulge in what another reviewer has called 'lefty Guardian hand-wringing'. It is to his credit, and his book's readability, that he has done neither of these things. What one appreciates about this book is the grace with which he brings his own background and experiences to bear on outlining lessons to be learnt from the second social catastrophe in a generation to be visited on Tottenham.

There are insights into the work Lammy does as a genuinely local politician which might make one pause to wonder how the modern MP for a needy constituency is really meant to carry out his work, given current feeling against actually funding a half decent support system. But I digress. The real virtues of this book are the readable and engaging way in which Lammy takes us through the social and political tensions that both gave rise to, and were illuminated by, the 2011 Tottenham riots, together with his range of projected solutions. Certainly some of the solutions may seem to err on the utopian side of practicability, and I personally remain sceptical about the credibility of accurately measuring the repayment potential of social impact bonds. But many of his proposals are rooted in schemes that have already been tried, and could well benefit from a wider roll-out.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Practical Guide to the Big Society 19 Nov 2011
With `Out of the Ashes' David Lammy has risen like a Phoenix from the flames in my estimations. Which is not to say I thought he was particularly bad before - it's just I didn't think he was particularly anything apart from not being the British Barack. I knew he'd been a relatively young and precocious MP, that he'd held various government positions under Blair and Brown, and that he was generally well meaning and well liked.

But given that I have never voted Labour, and under `Two Nose Jobs' Miliband probably never will, Lammy hasn't really loomed large on my political radar. However, having come across `Out of the Ashes', and enjoyed it very much - in fact, I found myself nodding and grunting in agreement on the tube every morning this week - I'll be keeping a close eye on Lammy from now on.

The thing is, while Obama's autobiographical treatise reads a bit like the kind of soaring rhetorical wet dream Aaron Sorkin would have had while writing The West Wing, Lammy keeps things simple and sensible. Sure, the book is part autobiography, part manifesto. But as the MP for the same Tottenham constituency where he grew up, Lammy brings an authenticity and a genuine sense of compassion to what could otherwise have been a standard bit of post-riots lefty hand-wringing from Guardian Books.

Lammy talks about tackling the root causes of the riots, not just the symptoms, but you get the real sense that he means it - that this isn't just another politician spouting off with idealistic, unachievable platitudes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars out of the ashes 22 Nov 2011
As a self-described centre-right voter I did not expect to be enamored with this book (it was forced upon me by a friend). However, I must say I was pretty impressed with the wide-ranging but also concrete proposals. These embraced cries from both the right ("bring back smacking") and the left (more representative ethnic composition of the met). The punitive vs. Rehabilitative element of sentencing was particularly innovative.

Oveall,the book was very easy to read and to relate each point to the central narrative around the riots. The downside was that is still sometimes seemed like a little piecemeal, with a problem:solution format. In future a more lengthy volume will be needed from David, perhaps taking harder and broader stances on some of the issues. Nonetheless, well worth reading, and profits go to charity rather than the author after all!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and thought provoking 22 Nov 2011
Brave, thoughtful, moving. Lammy tackles issues head on and doesn't make excuses. He also tells us a lot about his own life. The result is a book which is moving and honest and defies easy characterisation. very definitely worth reading and worth owning.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking and insightful 18 Nov 2011
The riots of August 2011 threw down the gauntlet to British politics and, as yet, many of the questions raised at the time about what caused them and how they can be prevented from recurring remain unanswered.

In Out of the Ashes, David Lammy meets this challenge head on, providing a frank and insightful diagnosis of where things have gone wrong in many of England's poorest urban areas; unemployment, unaffordable housing, community breakdown. He also points out the moral failings of untamed capitalism and the inherent flaws of a consumerist culture driven by materialistic values.

But the book's essential message is constructive rather than lecturing as the author displays a keenness to look forward to the future and probe solutions for society's prevailing ills. Lammy puts forward some compelling ideas; from the institution of a compulsory civic service for young people to reform of the penal system separating punishment and rehabilitation.

This is a thought-provoking book which I would thoroughly recommend.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book.
Published 1 month ago by Gareth Douglas
5.0 out of 5 stars Tottenham riots. 2011
David Lammy MP for Tottenham deserves to be heard regardless of which party you support. This is an honest book and the integrity of this politician cannot be questioned. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Revd R. B. Miller
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting thesis
An interesting and well read book that summarises the 'state of Britain' at the point of the riots and since with a good argument about the solution. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Anthony Dew
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating, moving and invredibly informative
David Lammy,

Has written an incredible book clearly explaining the reasons of the terrible riots, how they started and how they could happen again. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Piersc
3.0 out of 5 stars I was expecting something different!
I have been reading this book on and off in between reading other books, and to be honest I am at the moment really disappointed with what I have read so far. Read more
Published 19 months ago by White Passion
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book
I have to admit that this book was not what I was expecting. Lammy covers the issues impacting on the UK today and not just the riots. Read more
Published 21 months ago by I. Bryant
5.0 out of 5 stars superb and insightful
A major caveat for anyone reading my review is that I don't live in Tottenham - instead Belfast, however I found this superb book full of insight and thought provoking comment. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Mr. M. T. J. Mckelvey
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite the riot I was anticipating
I bought this book out of a sense of curiosity about the events of last summer. Had it rained as much as this year - would there have been the same riots? Read more
Published on 7 Jun 2012 by Adrianburke
3.0 out of 5 stars nice words - how about some action?
I for one raised an eyebrow when I discovered that Tottenham's MP David Lammy had released a book about August's riots, only a couple of months after they had happened. Read more
Published on 20 Feb 2012 by culturevulturelee
4.0 out of 5 stars A Chance to Move On
The Tottenham riots were devastating. Rarely do events haunt in this way and as the news spilled out - of shops broken into and households destroyed many took pause. Read more
Published on 16 Jan 2012 by Kwaku Awuku-Asabre
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