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Cruel Britannia: Reports on the Sinister and the Preposterous Paperback – 11 Apr 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books; New edition edition (11 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859842887
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859842881
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 13.5 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 700,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

For some time past Nick Cohen has been, for all intents and purposes, the sole exponent of Her Majesty's loyal opposition. With a rump Conservative minority more intent on internal battles and a left wing smothered by the New Labour media machine, Cohen has been almost alone as a critic of the Blair regime. Like the little boy calling out about the Emperor's new clothes, he has been one of the most consistent and forthright opponents of New Labour.

Cruel Britannia is a collection of Cohen's writings in the Observer, London Review of Books, New Statesman and the Jewish Quarterly. Collected together and embellished by revision and more recent additions, this book comprises a serious indictment of the UK government and confirms Cohen as the strongest and most convincing voice from the left in recent years. Taken together these essays and articles cover nearly every possible area of policy and throughout the writing is incisive and the criticism thorough and thoughtful. As the Cassandra of his time, Cohen deserves to be read and re-read by all people who have an interest in the development of British and European politics. --Douglas Pretsell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"If I listened to Nick Cohen I would never win an election." -- Tony Blair "A superb journalist... some of the most compelling writing to be published during the age of Blair." - Roy Hattersley, Guardian "Sharp and Punchy... A shining example of how to take on the establishment. How New Labour must hate him." - Glasgow Herald "Cohen is a spin doctor's nightmare, wittily exposing all that is callous, hypocritical and vapid in the new politics ... [he] is one journalist who will never be bought, although the Conservatives could use his skills." - Financial Times 'To read Cruel Britannia is like swallowing a useful pill to purge optimism ... Cohen is a paid-up dissensus man." - Times Literary Supplement "Nick Cohen smell out the cesspits of corruption and injustice with the keenest of noses. He tells it as it is, without fear or favour. He's one of the few independent voices left in an increasingly closed society." - Harold Pinter "Cohen is his own man, not always consistent or right or coherent, but unspinnable and unignorable, a Cassandra at the court of a king whose control freakery might yet be his undoing." - Scotland on Sunday

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Compulsive reading. This book is a must for anyone with a conscience. An insight into the workings of out country and the hypocrisy hidden at the heart of Blair's Britain.
Cohen is an incisive and witty writer and his prose is a pleasure to read. What's more, you will learn a lot about Cruel Brittania and many myths about the government are exploded (to use a cliché).
Discover the truth about Blair's government who admits on the book's cover quote "If I listened to Nick Cohen I would never win an election".
Even of you have been an avid reader of Cohen's jounrlaism, these collected articles (which have been updated and tweaked) demand to be re-read.
When it comes with the recommendation of one of the few writers to rival Cohen; (or more accurately ally with him) Francis Wheen then you are guaranteed good stuff. What more can I say. Buy this book.
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By A Customer on 15 April 2001
Format: Paperback
Nick Cohen's book is a captivating read from start to end. Although dealing with serious subjects, corruption, lies, hypocrisy and the dismantling of democracy Nick Cohen's prose sparkles so much that it is impossible to put down until you reach the end (and then you want to read it again!)
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By A Customer on 24 Sept. 1999
Format: Hardcover
For a writer who accuses others of populism Cohen is very willing to resort to it himself. I found the book to be well written and amusing. Some of the points made are even stimulating. However the obvious political bias of the book is disappointing. You too often feel that Cohen is playing devil's advocate for the sake of it. How many stars? Well it depends what you're after. If you want a coherent, well reason and independent assessment of modern Britain then give this no stars & look elsewhere to more serious writers. If you're a Conservative or non-Blairite socialist looking for a collection of lightweigh dinner party quips then this is ideal and worthy of 5 stars.
I'll compromise & give it 3
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nick Cohen always has to be worth reading. 14 Jun. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Nick Cohen has the keenest and most cynical of insights. He is not a journalist who can be cosied along, or made to "dance".
Given his unwelcome and sensational revelations, the establishment - speaking broadly - quite understandably hates him to a serious degree in high circles, and his continued survival can only be attributed to his increasing public profile.
Watch this man. He's a danger to all the myths we hold dear.
(His columns have also made The Observer worth reading again.)
No wonder the wonks in Labour hate this man. Cohen has rumbled them.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Savage dissection of Blairism 26 Aug. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a savage dissection of Blairism from the Left. It should be read in conjunction with Hal Colebatch's Blair's Britain (Claridge Press), which comes from the conservative side but in a strange way compliments it. The two authors would probably disagree with each other's priorities but both see cruelty, social destruction and nihilism behind the smiling mask of Blair's "Third Way." Between them they cover the field.
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