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The State We're In: (Revised Edition): Why Britain Is in Crisis and How to Overcome It [Paperback]

Will Hutton
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: £10.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Jan 1996
The number one bestseller on the hardback list for more than six months, The State We're In is the most explosive analysis of British society to have been published for over thirty years. It is now updated for the paperback edition.

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The State We're In: (Revised Edition): Why Britain Is in Crisis and How to Overcome It + Them And Us: Changing Britain - Why We Need a Fair Society
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Revised edition edition (4 Jan 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099366819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099366812
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"His optimism is unquenchable, his excitement exhilarating and his creativity awesome" (Observer)

"If Will Hutton were a political party I would vote for him" (David Aaronovitch Independent)

"Passionately sane, rich in ideas, The State We're In breathes human sense back into economics and eloquently embodies the spirit of a new optimism" (Ian McEwan)

"Hutton acknowledges two great influences: J.M. Keynes and J.K. Galbraith... Hutton's bestseller will do for their theories what Stephen Hawking did for cosmology in A Brief History of Time" (Martin Vander Weyer Daily Telegraph)

"Now, in Will Hutton's book, we have at last what we need - an impassioned, and passionately cogent, critique of New Right policy" (John Gray Guardian)

Book Description

The most challenging, creative book on the malaise affecting virtually every aspect of British life.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The State We're Still In 19 Dec 2012
We never seem to learn, do we? Will Hutton wrote 'The State We're In' during the mid-1990s, and when it was published in 1995 the Labour Party were the coming men. The then-Conservative government of John Major was in trouble, hated in many places around the country, a fact that is now increasingly forgotten as populist opinion sides with one party or the other, mainly the Labour Party, so that it looks increasingly likely that Labour will come to power again in 2015. And so the story continues: history repeating itself as farce, with the spectacle descending deeper and deeper into a kind of burlesque camp.

On its own terms, and allowing for aspects that are obviously dated, this book is a useful antidote against a burgeoning pro-Tory revisionism that attempts to rehabilitate the Thatcher-Major years in the popular consciousness. It is easy to forget why the country wanted change in 1997 and to adopt the lazy position that Blair simply 'conned' or hoodwinked the country into power. It's not true. The Conservatives were decisively and ruthlessly swept from power for a generation by an angry electorate because the Conservative government was unpopular. It was unpopular because it did things that were inimical to the country's interests. There was asset-stripping and privatisation, the destruction of our manufacturing base, mass immigration, the ERM débâcle, the sleaze scandals, and much more. These things happened under the Conservatives. That similar things also happened under the subsequent Labour governments does not change or invalidate the reasons for the country's rejection of the Conservatives in 1997.
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5.0 out of 5 stars HE SAID IT FIRST- 28 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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42 of 57 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Although this book is slightly out of date after the abolition of hereditary peers and devolution for Scotland and Wales, it is still worth reading for it's excellent and comprehensive critique of New Right Policy. The book starts with how the Conservatives fused Neo liberal thought with popular policies, creating an electoral machine which won four general elections in a row. It talks about how the Conservatives managed to manipulate the uncodified British constitution to great effect during the 1980's and 1990's.
It simultaneously charts the crisis among the British Left, and the European Left in general, and how the New Labour experiment attempted to deal with this. The main thrust of the book is that the last twenty odd years have been an experiment in free market economics which have had serious effects on social cohesion, and given us the lowest paid workforce, yet the highest paid executives in Europe.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Prescient Piece of Work 10 Nov 2008
Given the dramatic collapse of Britain's banking industry in Autumn 2008, I once again picked up Mr Hutton's work to re-appraise myself of its arguments and to see if its solutions really would have helped us avoid the present crisis.

I was amazed at how well Hutton's critique predicted the shambles caused by removing the regulatory breaks from the once-mighty financial sector. The book picks apart the so-called Thatcherite economic reforms laying bear the true originator of Britain's contemporary economic woes. The argument against laissez-faire capitalism is sharpened by recent events. And surely now there cannot be a voter left who still believes that Thatcher was anything but a very poor, and very damaging Prime Minister.

Hutton lays bear the yawning weaknesses in the British economy forged by both Parties when in government, but particularly by the peculiar COnservative brand post 1979.

Unlike many polemics, this work does not stop at pointing out blame. It provides detailed and workable solutions to even this credit crunch. Europe is key, as well as reclaiming the economy as a tool to benefit ordinary people, rather than allowing it to enrich the already rich and run amok as it has these last 30 years.

A book written in the nineties that is as contemporary today as it was then. A must-read for the economic and political historian.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One remarkable analysis 3 Jan 2011
By Csiro
I wanted to review this book, before starting to read Hutton's most recent piece "Them and Us". I read the book back in 1996, in the times of The Trainspotting hysteria in the North of U.K., and its key insights are as informative now as they were 15 years ago. Despite lots of historical and institutional differences, I could learn a lot about the logic and contingencies of the capitalist market economy, one can now observe in other parts of Europe, including Slovakia, my home country. I only wish we also had authors like Hutton who can provide a well-structured, optimistic big picture analysis of a nation's state and prospects...
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9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting despite being astonishingly biased 22 Sep 2007
It is clear that Hutton has a strong socialist/leftward bias and he fails to be persuasive by not sufficiently supporting his views. This does not totally discredit the book though, and taken in context, there are some interesting points.

At the time this was written, the condition of the economy would have justified such criticism of the government of the previous decade. It is only with hindsight that we can see the long-term benefit of Thatcher's reforms. He does pick up on genuine weaknesses in the financial system of the UK; for example the failure to promote investment because of a priority for dividends - our failure to improve UK productivity since this was written is inexcusable.

His writing is sometimes quite rambling and, certainly towards the end, very preaching. Despite this, and its age, it is still readable and not at all technical, for those with limited economic knowledge.

I would only recommend reading this if you have an interest in the condition of, and events in, the UK economy towards the end of the last century. It is too old and opinionated to be of popular interest now.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars will h
Good on basicz. Bit dated. All govnts borrow too much. Money management poor. Is this coalition any different I don't think so.
Published on 7 April 2012 by david kingsman
1.0 out of 5 stars Impenetrable.
Have you ever waded through a badly written report or news article and, having stuck with it, got to the end and thought you were no nearer to being either informed or have the... Read more
Published on 21 Jan 2012 by Bongo
5.0 out of 5 stars Why the left is right and the right is wrong?
I thought this book, although dated, is still very relevent today. With the seemingly non stop takeovers of British companies by mostly companies based in the so-called 'over... Read more
Published on 8 Mar 2006 by Alex MacAskill
1.0 out of 5 stars Astonishingly Bad
'The State We're In' is one of the worst books I have ever read. First of all the book is very badly structured. Read more
Published on 3 July 2005 by Alan Michael Forrester
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish. Save your money
Rambling, inconsistent and factually inaccurate to an astonishing degree. The most over-rated book in ages (and probably the most thrown across rooms in irritation). Read more
Published on 12 Aug 2004 by Dajx
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish
Hutton's book is nothing more than propaganda virtually bereft of economic concepts.
He starts the book by attempting to trash the Tory government voted in in 1979 and also... Read more
Published on 22 Jun 2004 by Sam Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars The guy is a genius
I used the book, amongst others, as part of my final year dissertation. I found it to be comparable, if not better than the works of JM Keynes. Read more
Published on 31 Jan 2002
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