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The Grand Delusion: Britain After Sixty Years of Elizabeth II [Hardcover]

Stephen Haseler
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 17.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 May 2012
Written in the public glow surrounding the Queen s Diamond Jubilee, The Grand Delusion is a critical history of Britain's post-war establishment - with the Queen and her Prime Ministers at its heart. It explores the key questions: has Elizabeth II s reign been good for the UK? Or has it represented six decades of missed opportunities, deepening inequality and failure to adapt? Stephen Haseler argues that, while the role of the Queen has been important in helping to set the tone for the country, the rituals and underlying culture of the British monarchy and its wider establishment have held Britain back from its potential in the twenty-first century world. This culture has encouraged the Westminster political class in their delusions of grandeur, making them unable to adapt to the loss of empire. Haseler also shows how the monarchy and establishment have validated an outdated and seemingly entrenched class-system which over the years has led to aggregations of great wealth and falling social mobility, and which has negatively affected Britain s economy and its capacity to innovate. The Grand Delusion provides a political and social history of post-war Britain which is provocative, informative and entertaining, while at the same time shedding a deeply questioning light on the essence of Britain s identity today.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris (30 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780760736
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780760735
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 15.8 x 22.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


Enough already of pomp and circumstance. Stephen Haseler delivers a dose of bah, humbug in this sober assessment of England s post-war economic decline --Metro

'Haseler provides an excellent account of the global financial crisis and its effects on Britain...' --Paul Ward, LSE Review of Books

About the Author

Stephen Haseler is Emeritus Professor of Government and Director of the Global Policy Institute at London Metropolitan University. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and has held Visiting Professorships at Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins University. He has been active in public life in Britain (Labour candidate, GLC Committee Chair and founder member of the SDP) and has appeared regularly on TV (including BBC Newsnight) and radio (The Today Programme). He lives in West London. He is the author of fifteen books on British and European politics, including The Battle for Britain: Thatcher and the New Liberals (I.B.Tauris), The End of the House of Windsor (I.B.Tauris); Super-State: The New Europe and the Challenge to America (I.B.Tauris); The Super-Rich: The Unjust World of Global Capital; Sidekick: British Global Strategy From Churchill To Blair; The Death of British Democracy and Meltdown: How The Masters of the Universe Destroyed The West's Power and Prosperity.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Stephen Haseler's 'The Grand Delusion' fills a noticeable gap in post war political analysis. Where daily media coverage provides snap shot commentary on the relationship between political change and economic failures, Haseler successfully traces the historic roots of the current financial crisis; the UK's ever shifting relationship with Europe and our inability to accept the loss of our once global power. By taking this approach, the author successfully places our present difficulties within the context of post war political history,our colonial past and the pervading influence of a monarchy which surreptitiously reinforces our unwillingness to accept Great Britain's dwindling influence as a major world 'player'.
Unlike many other books attempting to take on such a broad brush analysis, Stephen Haseler writes in a highly accessible and insightful manner - and with a 'light touch' rarely seen in works of this kind.
Essential reading and highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Grand Delusion 29 Oct 2013
Professor Haseler's book is a superb examination of Britain and the British during the sixty year reign of Elizabeth II. It is a work that considers in great detail the nation's political fantasies, obsessions and realities. It highlights the enduring fantasy that has continuded to beat in the hearts of the nation's ruling elite (Monarch and politicians in particular)that, in spite of the loss of its empire, Britain remains economically, politically, and militarily a major player on the world stage; ready at a moment's notice to give Johnny Foreigner a good hiding if he steps out of line. This view, in which the nation's leaders have, in furtherance of their own delusions, preferred the position of the USA's dogsbody to their rightful place as a leading and committed member of the European Union, has taken the nation to war with a country that did not threaten Britain in any way, and has sustained an overblown monarchy that forever ensures that the British are encouraged to look to their past rather than the future.
There is no doubt that the Professor wishes to see the abolition of the monarchy. The fantasy, again, is that Britain's political elite always refer to the monarchy as being 'constitutional', and yet Elizabeth II, monarch by accident of birth, was never elected by the people, who have no say whatsoever in determnining the identity of the person who shall be their head of state. Not only that, there is a convention that the position of the monarch is never discussed by the people's elected representatives in Parliament.
This is most definitely not a book that flag-waving singers of Rule Britannia with right-wing tendencies and a passion for the Queen and her family would wish to receive for Christmas. They would be horrified by it.
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0 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Grand Delusion - is a BIG Delusion! 14 Sep 2012
By andyg
A friend gave me this book to read and I thought it to be a short day trip to the a delusional fantasy land.

I hated it!
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