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Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars The definition is left to the reader, 31 July 2009
This review is from: Welcome to Everytown (Hardcover)
As a Londoner, I could understand what Baggini was talking about. Metropolitan cities only impose on us social behaviors that are not really how we would go about business if we were not living under the pressures of London or Manchester of "being cool" or liking "alternative art". We would just do what makes us feel comfortable, which what the majority of the English do: Eat, drink, work and holiday.
Whether he succeeded in portraying the English as they really are, is something completely left up to the reader, and his own experience and perception of the English. He concludes his book with a statement that the English don't fully know themselves and what makes them English, and he is to an extent, right. The English as a people, are very practical people by nature. His statement that the English perceive food as fuel rather than joy, is , in English bravado "spot on". Be it London, Brighton or Everytown, if you are a gourmet, you don't go to a pub, or a fish and chips place, and that remains the case today. The number of pubs throughout the country by far outnumber any restaurants that serve anything other than "pub grub" style, and the pub is where you will find the Englishman, or any other person living in Enlgand for that case. So that must be the way the people prefer it. So his view on the English and the drink is also in its place.

He starts out his journey in Everytown, which is, according to statistics, the most "English" place in England, where the majority of people in everytown do what the majority of English citizens do: consume, drink, watch blockbusters and are set in their own ways.
Biaginni tends to lean towards making statements and opinions rather than giving facts about his fellow countrymen, but when it comes to describing a community, it really is what the majority does and there is no black and white, right or wrong, and its a social science, which at best, is descriptive. Americans eat ketchup, Englishmen go to pubs. Why? That's just because. They like, it works. The author gives examples and talks about his personal experiences, and including research and statistics to measure, but tends to introduce opinion to fact, but when your talking about the English, it's almost the same. It's practical.
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Location: London, England

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