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Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multi-Racial Britain [Paperback]

Trevor Phillips , Mike Phillips
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: 14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

16 Oct 2009

Broadcaster Trevor Phillips and his novelist brother Mike retell the very human story of Britain’s first West Indian immigrants and their descendants from the first wave of immigration in 1948 to the present day.

Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multi-Racial Britain opens with the memories and impressions of the survivors of the voyage of the Windrush, the troop ship which brought the first West Indian immigrants to Great Britain in 1948. Fifty years on, the migrants tell an epic tale of British life in the twentieth century, through the witness of their descendants, friends, neighbours and colleagues and the testimonies of politicians who made the key decisions alongside those who were then opposed to the presence of the black settlers.

Windrush moves through the crucial events of British social history in the second half of the twentieth century: the great riots of the late fifties and early sixties, the hysteria of Powellism, the remodelling of England’s inner cities and the current passionate debates about the meaning of Englishness. Concluding with a portrait of multi-racial Britain in the present day, Windrush is a celebration of the black British and of the new heritage Britain will carry forward into the twenty-first century.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; (Reissue) edition (16 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006530397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006530398
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 208,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘One of the most important books ever to have been published on the black British experience’
Independent

‘Invaluable… a fascinating and informative panorama of the experiences of the people who came to England in 1948, and who paved the way for their many descendants’
Literary Review

From the Back Cover

PUBLISHED IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE MAJOR BBC TV SERIES 'WINDRUSH'

This is the epic and untold story of Britain’s black population and its impact on the politics, culture, identity and self image of British society.

‘We were full of expectation. Nobody knows exactly what you’re going to. Some of the people, when we arrive on British soil and people see chimneys and the houses, they thought they were factories. They said – oh boy, plenty of work at this place, seeing the chimneys, not knowing that was for warmth. And they were all jolly, joyful.’

Of all the epic tales still to be told of British life in the twentieth century the most gripping is the story that started fifty years ago with a thirty day journey across the Atlantic in an ageing merchant ship, the Empire Windrush. The voyagers were five hundred West Indians who were to become the catalyst of far reaching and significant changes in British society. For the first time, here were communities from outside the British Isles that could not blend into the background. British society faced an entirely new challenge.

'Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multi Racial Britain' opens with the memories and impressions of the survivors of that first voyage, and continues through the witness of their descendants, friends, neighbours and colleagues and the testimonies of the politicians who made the key decisions alongside those who were, at the time, opposed to the presence of the black settlers. 'Windrush 'moves through the crucial events of British social history in the second half of the twentieth century: the great riots of the late fifties and early sixties, the hysteria of Powellism, the remodelling of England’s inner cities and the current passionate debates about the meaning of Englisheness. Concluding with a portrait of multi racial Britain in the present day, 'Windrush' is a celebration of the black British and of the new heritage Britain will carry forward into the twenty-first century.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is suitable for all ages and races. 8 Nov 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I would recommend this book to anyone who experiences racial undertones at School, work or in any other walks of life. Reading this book shows that the relationship between black and white has not progressed as well as it should have. Various incidents in the book can still be seen clearly today. For example the murder of Kelso Cocrane in 1959 (Pg. 181) bears a resemblance to the murder of Steven Lawrence in 1993. In both instances their murderers have been able to evade justice. Both of these murders have great similarities because the victims were black and there seemed to be a great outcry from the public for this kind of behaviour to end. When one looks at the facts many of the racist undertones still remain. These facts are evident in almost all walks of life. The most obvious is the way that Black people are portrayed in the media. The book does have some light-hearted moments which may of great interest to some of the younger generation. For example, how the older generation entertained themselves by going to the cinema and ballrooms on a Saturday. It also highlights some obvious point that can be over looked. For example, a point that I had wandered about was why so many Black men formed relationships with white women? The answer was quite simply that there was no Black women. This book covers so many issues that anyone from any walk of life could find something that they can identify with...
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should own this book 24 Oct 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a compelling, educative, beautifully conceived and composed book. It combines insightful commentary with equally insightful interviews. It gives a clear picture of the brutal realities of racism in Britain and also records ordinary folks' nuanced wisdoms about human nature. I highly recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a pastiche of blackness. 8 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good book if you want to get a feel for the black experience of post war Britain, thus it's main strength is the excellent and diverse interviews with Black Britons and the intersting questions and conclusions that derive from them.
It is not so good as a history book however as it concentrates on particular aspects and locations rather than giving a comprehensive overview. This probably reflects its origins as an impressionistic TV series rather than a book.
Overall interesting but certainly not a definitive account.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read... 30 Dec 2012
By S. Wood
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A most enjoyable and informative read although the format - a series of quotes from contributors - takes some getting used to.
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