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Them: Voices from the Immigrant Community in Contemporary Britain [Hardcover]

Jonathon Green


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Book Description

1 Oct 1990
A unique, varied and vivid portrait of life in contemporary Britain from the differing viewpoints of an extremely diverse group of immigrants. The people whose voices make up this book came to Britain from every corner of the world and for an infinite variety of reasons; Asians forced to leave East Africa, German Jews fleeing from the Holocaust, dissidents from Eastern Europe and South America, Afro-Caribbeans responding to offers of employment, and the people from the Old Commonwealth for whom Britain represented tradition or glamour. Their experiences have been very different, but there are striking similarities to be found in the way they have been treated by the British. The days when landlords were allowed to put up signs saying "No blacks, No Irish, No Dogs" may be gone, but the inherent xenophobia of the English character persists. The subjects covered by this eclectic collection of personal testimonies range from preconceptions of England, problems of identity and assimilation to perspectives of Thatcher's Britain. Many of the people Green spoke to have lived in Britain for several decades and have witnessed great changes in the nation's life and culture, changes which would make them think twice about choosing Britain as a new home had they to do so in the 1990s. At a time when issues of cultural identity are very much at the forefront of popular debate, from the wearing of headscarves by Muslim schoolgirls to the Rushdie affair, and as the need for the people of this country to accept the fact that we already live in a multicultural society becomes every day more acute, this unique and extraordinary survey, at once funny, moving and deadly serious, should be essential reading for everyone.

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