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on 26 January 2012
The book certainly shows how diversified the British economy is, describing how the country has left low-value manufacturing to China/India, whilst retaining high-end and niche engineering capabilities and how there is an ongoing trend away from manufacturing and into services and other activities such as branding and advertising.

One of Evan's key points about manufacturing is that we don't save enough to have heavy manufacturing capability. Such an industry would require long term investment funds that simply aren't available.

Another key point is that we have more recently become over-reliant on service industries (particularly financial) to the degree that we are slowly losing our national identity by acting as a host nation to rich foreigners. This has lead to negative balance of payments, which eventually needs to be compensated for.

One of his main conclusions is that our while our economy is fundamentally healthy, it needs re-balancing away from some service sectors and back towards manufacturing. We can only do this by saving more.

All of these are valid, well-argued points, but what is missing is that part of the economy accounting for half of our GDP is simply not covered : the public sector. Evan repeatedly ducks out of this by saying he doesn't want to get involved in arguments over the role of government.

What the book covers is entertaining and thought provoking (I found the concept of thinking about yourself as both a producer and consumer when considering the export of manufacturing to China particularly interesting). But by limiting the book to private sector activity, Evan has only described half of the UK economy and skirted important issues such as the role of government intervention in the economy, how taxation affects output etc. etc.

In short an excellent book on what it covers, but too much is missing to give a complete description of the UK economy.
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on 30 September 2015
Extremely interesting view on Britain and one that everybody should read. It has changed my mind on many things and confirmed several of my thoughts.
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on 29 June 2012
I love to watch Evan Davis on TV. He is a wonderful presenter and can simplify complicated issues into simple components.

The book is a fantastic read, I am half way through it. He approaches economics from a different angle and it is nice to see how he sees the world.

The back cover says "Don't buy this book : - If you think Britain is ruined and nothing is going to change you mind... If you don't care what anyone says - we're a travesty compared to theh Germans.... "

I supposed these points would apply to many of us!

Although, Evan is right to point to British sucesses such as Pharmaceticals (Glaxo). He has overlooked, the British telecommunication indusry. It was Charles K. Kao and George A. Hockham who worked for STC (Standard Telephones and Cables), who patented the use of Fibre Optics in telecommications in 1966. Without Fibre Optics, we would not have this inter-connected world. (The problem for STC, whilst it could sell products globally, many of the europeans markets were closed off. The French would only buy from the French, Italians telephone company from the Italian firms), Germans only from German firms. It means competing for orders from overseas, would make British firms more costly... It would be nice if he looked at what lessons could be learned.

Why is it that leading European phone manufacturers such as (Sony)Ericson and Nokia who were leading the way, somehow lost the smartphone war to the likes of new players such as Apple and Google Android phones?. These guys never made phones. The British had a great phone operating system i.e. Symbian. Even today Symbian is more reliable then Android or iPhone's OS. However, somehow the Yanks stole the show with the iPhone.... (Sony did have a touchscreen phone, years before Apple). Although, Sony designed for use by a stylus, whilst iPhone convinced grubby fingers on screens were the way forward....
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on 22 October 2013
This book seeks to big up the mess that thatcher left as her legacy. Davis leaves no stone unturned in his bid to assure us that everything is just fine. A more biased vision of how this country's economic health stands would be hard to find. Davis seems to hang out in all the same places as Cameron.
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on 27 June 2011
This book is a brilliant accompaniment to the television series. Reading it I learnt a lot about British industry and business in spite of considering myself well informed. Evan writes as interestingly as he broadcasts. He clearly is an expert in his subject as he proved when he was BBC Economics editor some years ago. I recommend it strongly
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on 19 March 2015
Great Book
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on 16 August 2015
o.k.
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on 27 October 2011
This ia a compelling read. Evan Davis is a great communicator, and an expert at clarifying complex economic theories. I saw very little of the television series that the book is based on, but that in unimportant. I urge anyone who thinks that the UK is doomed to read this and cheer up!Made in Britain
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on 24 December 2012
An eye-opener. The book gives a whole new insight into the UK's economic performance over the last 30 years or so
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on 30 October 2011
Purchased this for my son as a 1st year specialist doing Economics at PreU/A level. We have found it to be very relevant, an easy read and very clear in its economic evaulation of today's climate.
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