1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful introduction!,
This review is from: Who Runs This Place?: The Anatomy of Britain in the 21st Century (Paperback)
As a Canadian interested in understanding my English roots, I have been extremely pleased to read this detailed guidebook on British institutional and political life. The text incorporates an enormous amount of detail, and yet remains clear, vibrant, and inciteful, through to the end. Its author Anthony Sampson, now deceased, must have been a brilliant and profound humanist.
Other readers' criticisms describing this book as being; superficial, boring, narrow in perspective, or out of date, I find off the mark. The objective of the writer was to provide an overall snapshot of an enormous and complex subject, and leave a sense of the direction of its evolution.
Perhaps this is a book that most educated Brits do not need to read. However, I doubt it. As for leaving out the working class, E.M. Forster well stated in his "Notes on the English Character," that the English are defined by their middle classes.
Finally, as per being out of date, the author ends his analysis with the point that the more things change, the more they remain the same. The overall patterns are still profoundly intact.
All countries have bright and dark elements too them, all are incomplete, but if the English can produce such a wonderful and democratic writer as Anthony Sampson, then talk about their decline has been greatly overstated!