- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Granta Books (5 Mar. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1862079218
- ISBN-13: 978-1862079212
- Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 22.3 x 2.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 523,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Welcome to Everytown Hardcover – 5 Mar 2007
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"Baggini observes Rotherham closely and wittily" -- The Herald
"Baggini turns out to be a sensitive observer who takes people and
places on their own terms" -- Independent
"Fascinating localised detail of the lives of ordinary British
people... sophisticated, open-minded analysis"
-- Psychologies Magazine
"Few set out to ask the ordinary English what they think. Baggini
brings a refreshing empathy"
-- Financial Times
"Intelligent and resourceful... (with) many fascinating
observations" -- Book Magazine
About the Author
Julian Baggini is the editor and co-founder of The Philosophers' Magazine. His books include Do You Think What You Think YouThink? (with Jeremy Stangroom), What's It All About? - Philosophy and the Meaning of Life and the bestselling The Pig That Wants to 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.
I cannot help thinking that the author had a preconception, roughly corresponding to what he concluded re "communitarian conservatism" , and which I would castigate as slothful "don't give a damn"-ism, especially since Baggini allows to a degree the invasion/destruction of some aspects of this putative "culture" by individualism.
To my mind, the drumming on about how "working-class" our culture is masks the absence of any dynamic view of social change. Work and leisure have changed considerably , just as race- relations are not a fixed entity; there must have been considerable reaction to the Rotherham scandal above all among locals.Unemployment, for example , is not mentioned; leisure activity seems to be unimaginative, increasingly so , I guess, on the same lines as the macdonaldisation of food , etc
On a longer view, Baggini seems to make sweeping judgments about working-class history ( he would seem to disregard the "intellectual history" of working people, which would have modified his assertion that "self-improvement" does not concern "the English" , at least those he mixed with who, in this regard, are taken as normal.
He emphasises the desire of "the English" to have a good time, and writes almost nothing about attitudes to education, class (!!!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
What a great idea to get a bona fide intellectual- a `proper' contemporary philosopher no less- to probe the English psyche in the early 21st century. Read morePublished on 12 Jan. 2012 by Zipster Zeus
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