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THE PHENOMENAL BESTSELLER
'Fantastic, timely, eye-opening' Armando Iannucci, New Statesman, Books of the Year
'Captures a collective sense of anger and awakening' Matt Haig, Observer, Books of the Year
Behind our democracy lurks a powerful but unaccountable network of people who wield massive power and reap huge profits in the process. In exposing this shadowy and complex system that dominates our lives, Owen Jones sets out on a journey into the heart of our Establishment, from the lobbies of Westminster to the newsrooms, boardrooms and trading rooms of Fleet Street and the City. Exposing the revolving doors that link these worlds, and the vested interests that bind them together, Jones shows how, in claiming to work on our behalf, the people at the top are doing precisely the opposite. In fact, they represent the biggest threat to our democracy today - and it is time they were challenged.
'A book of revelations ... The Establishment have stitched it up - stitched you up - and they know it' Danny Dorling, Times Higher Education Supplement
'A dissection of the profoundly and sickeningly corrupt state that is present-day Britain. He is a fine writer, and this is a truly necessary book' Philip Pullman
'Owen Jones is a phenomenon of our times' David Kynaston, The Times Literary Supplement
'You will be enlightened and angry' Irvine Welsh
In modern Britain, the working class has become an object of fear and ridicule. From Little Britain’s Vicky Pollard to the demonization of Jade Goody, media and politicians alike dismiss as feckless, criminalized and ignorant a vast, underprivileged swathe of society whose members have become stereotyped by one, hate-filled word: chavs.
In this acclaimed investigation, Owen Jones explores how the working class has gone from “salt of the earth” to “scum of the earth.” Exposing the ignorance and prejudice at the heart of the chav caricature, he portrays a far more complex reality. The chav stereotype, he argues, is used by governments as a convenient fig leaf to avoid genuine engagement with social and economic problems and to justify widening inequality.
When Chavs was first published in 2011 it opened up the discussion of class in Britain. Then, in the public debate after the riots of that summer, Owen Jones’s thesis was proved right—the working class were the scapegoats for everything that was wrong with Britain.
This new edition includes a new chapter, reflecting on the overwhelming response to the book and the situation in Britain today.