on 3 November 2012
I ordered this book because I wanted to send an introduction to Britain to some Indian youngsters I met on holiday. This is, however, so embarrassingly inacccurate and out of date that I will not send it. It presents a Disneyland Britain of castles, cathedrals and stately homes, with no reference to how 99% of British people actually live. No pubs, no sports grounds, none of the spectacular modern buildings in London and beyond. No reference to the diversity of the population, with our Indian and Italian restaurants, our black Olympians. No motorways or railways or airports; no Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds. No reference to a modern Britain that brought the world jet engines, patrliamentary democracy, the internet, programmable computers, DNA testing, stainless steel, antibiotic drugs, and, most important of all, industrialisation and the megacity. What a missed opportunity.