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on 15 February 2014
Colley's Acts of Union and Disunion provides a wide-ranging if somewhat superficial take on the history of the UK and Great Britain. This is unsurprising given the length of the book (156 pages) and the extent of the topic. Consequently those searching for a serious, in depth and academic assessment of the problems facing these islands will not find it here.

However, to judge Colley to be lacking depth is disingenuous at best since that was not the book she set out to write. As a popular introduction to the problems facing the UK it is well written and,interesting, kindling a genuine interest in the topic in the reader which will lead many readers to look for more advanced and varied texts. Indeed, this is perhaps fuelled by the lack of a singular or clear conclusion by Colley which may frustrate some readers. The book is narrative and description heavy and could be accused of lacking analytical content.

Nevertheless, Colley's enthusiasm for the subject is infective and engaging. The book is well worth reading as a introductory text and the lack of a singular conclusion invites interested readers to advance to more developed texts and understandings of the subject matter which is no bad thing.
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on 10 February 2014
An interesting book. However I did not think the coverage of the events surrounding the colonozing and detachment of the Repulbic of Ireland from the United Kingdom was given sufficient attention,
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on 19 February 2014
A clearly written, thought provoking account of the state of the Union at the moment and how we got here.
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on 3 October 2014
A short, succinct and simple account not just about the union between Scotland and England, but about about Ireland, Wales, Europe and the USA (a trans-Atlantic Union has been several times suggested, most recently by Churchill, but the Yanks were having none of it).

It was published before the results of the Socottish Referendum, and studiously avoids taking public sides, unlike the German press that poured scorn on the Scot Gnats, but a little like Her Majesty. Perhaps the result left Colley purring as well. I do hope so. For anyone wanting to understand the issue from a historical perspective this is a good place to start.
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on 24 January 2014
This book was written with a detracted perspective and is essential reading as we approach the vote on Scottish devolution. It does make a strong case for a federal Great Britain but is a little weak on Europe. Very we'll written and very readable.
Gareth Jones
Dorking
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on 30 January 2014
Its remarkable how little impact academia has on modern Britain. If all political theorists, philosophers, sociologists went on strike tomorrow it would be a decade before the rest of society took notice. In theory I regret this, but when I see work like Linda Colley's it changes my mind.

The central idea, is that Britain is a conceptual construct [snore] with much less substance than most people think. Examining history can help us to give it up and move on. The problem with this line of thought is that modern British identity is not predicated on fact. Its about belonging, myth, narrative. There is no chance that the UK population will mutate its identity as a result of dry stories of past constitutional arrangements. There is category error here. Its like a grammarian writing a book about novel writing. It has no bearing at all on the issue under discussion. Well punctuated sentences do not always make good stories. Revised facts dont make revised identities.

Linda Colley's promotion of an English parliament - an idea with no public support whatsoever - at a time when the public has very little interest in the established UK one, shows she is inhabiting a parallel universe.
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on 4 February 2014
I listened to this on the radio and enjoyed it, but I did miss a couple of episodes so I decided to buy a Kindle copy. When I read it on a kindle I simply didn't like it at all - I don't think it translated from the radio to a book at all well.
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on 12 August 2014
interesting read.
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on 9 December 2014
interesting
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on 10 July 2014
Not very well argued.
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