Welcome to Everytown: A Journey into the English Mind Paperback – 3 Mar 2008
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`A timely book'
`An entertaining read' -- Press and Journal
`An illuminating guide to the folk philosophy of England'
-- Financial Times magazine
`Serves as a comforting reminder of some of the familiar quirks of Englishness... [it] provokes a wry smile' -- Derby Evening Telegraph
`[Baggini is] not just a professional philosopher, but a fearless anthropologist too'
-- Evening Standard
About the Author
Julian Baggini is the editor and co-founder of The Philosophers' Magazine. His booksinclude Do You Think What You Think You Think? (with Jeremy Stangroom), What's ItAll About? - Philosophy and the Meaning of Life and the bestselling The Pig That Wantsto be Eaten, all published by Granta Books.
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Top Customer Reviews
The reivews of the book surprised me - flawed by straw men and ad hominems. As one who has also 'escaped' the area through university, I found this book gave me a fresh perspective on how dangerous it is to criticise mass culture - the section on the Da Vinci Code says more about middle class snobbery than you would expect. Buy this and enjoy.
Some problems are evident from the beginning. Baggini focuses on an aspect of English life and then, with the admittedly dubious aid of opinion polls, the tabloid press and conversations with locals in the boozer, constructs a set of extremely general truths about English society and the practices of the common man. What are often presented as original insights into the English mind are, I'm afraid, platitudes which apply to almost any modern nation in the Western world. For example, with much fanfare and preparation, we are told that we are obsessed by status, tolerant but wary of other cultures and prefer familiarity and convenience to that which is alien or challenging. There is nothing distinctly English about this.
One reason why the results of Baggini's investigations are disappointing may lie within the author himself. He comes across as extremely ingenuous, a sort of Hugh Grant of the writing world, jumping into everyday pursuits with a sort of trepidation which can only come from living a very withdrawn life. He is shocked by cinema food / snack prices and openly admits he has never betted before.Read more ›
The conclusions are not that surprising and but backed up with various statistics and polls as well as Baggini's own observations. Overall it is an even-handed, intelligent and interesting read concluding that despite beliefs to the contrary the average English person does have a consistent philosophy just one that is different from that of the average liberal set.
Which is all to the good and the reason I started this review on the dodgy non-literary ground of that awful subject, promotion and readership; because to be honest, I strongly believe as many people as possible in the UK [and beyond] should be given this book to read, and read it they would, because this is an extremely accessible- but at the same time wonderfully erudite and thought provoking- piece of work.
Baggini establishes himself for six months in the most typical postcode in the country according to ACORN, and ends up in S66, which is flagged up as one of those that are the most typical in the UK.
Baggini is unapologetic of the fact that it is in England, and makes this an `English Journey' to a certain extent. And he's right to be so, in that England accounts for a full 85% of the UK in population terms alone, and despite what Celtic nationalists may say to the contrary, whether we like it or not England sets the agenda socially and economically these days for the wider UK as much as ever.
So the author finds himself just outside of Rotherham, eventually settled into a rented house for his summer to Christmas stint away from his metrophile lifestyle in Bristol.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First up, this book is amusing and laugh aloud funny in places.
Even if he's not actually being self-deprecating and telling stories
at his own expense, he gives the... Read more
Having recently moved nearby in this area and having come across this book by accident, it is very interesting to read more about this location. Read morePublished on 25 Feb. 2012 by Mr. D. F. Irvine
I thought I would enjoy this book when I started it and it had moments of interesting thinking (the Daily Mail is a working class paper anyone? Read morePublished on 1 Oct. 2011 by Agent
Julian Baggini - Everytown:
Overall "Welcome To EveryTown" can get a bit annoying. Mr Baggini spends so much of the book trying look impartial and un-judgemental that... Read more
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... Read morePublished on 31 July 2009 by Charles Wahab