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Who do We Think We Are?: Imagining the New Britain Hardcover – 27 Apr 2000

3.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (27 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713994134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713994131
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 2.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,567,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Regular columnist for the Independent, Yasmin Alibai-Brown's Who Do We Think We Are: Imagining the New Britain is a collection of overlapping essays covering a wide range of topics from the history of race-relations, immigration policy, education, liberal politics and feminism. Her guiding focus threads the concept of citizenship with the creation of an historically aware sense of national identity to which we can all ideally subscribe.

The real strength of the book can be found in the details-- not just the Historical detail concerning immigration, demographics, and social policy which is the backbone of the book--but the concrete present-day concerns of the individuals Brown interviews. Brown's spiritual home is the political left, so expect a swipe at the exclusionary tactics of the white male establishment and calls for the reform of British institutions. However, the analysis is sometimes hamstrung by the racial and ethnic categorisations she works with which are not always helpful for thinking through political questions of justice and citizenship.

What's unusual and important about this book is that Brown has the refreshing habit of dropping in unpalatable home truths about certain factions of the political left. "Feminists" Brown tells us, "need to stop regarding theirs as the only valid issue in the world". Of anti-racist initiatives we hear that "far too many inept and furious people got into racism awareness and anti-racist training ... and did more damage than if they had left the issue untouched" Who Do We Think We Are? a well written, astute, and provocative book. It is guaranteed to earn Brown some new friends and perhaps a few new enemies too. --Larry Brown


More than half a century after the large-scale migration of visible communities to the United Kingdom, a movement which brought not only the excitement of new foods and music, ideas and art, but different social functions and a diferent sense of history, indigneous Britons are still grappling with the implications of these altered contours of society. In a direct investigation of both the private and public spheres of British life, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown asks difficult questions and posits some complex responses to interpret the massive transformations and realities of Britain today.

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