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on 12 March 2014
Badly let down by inaccuracies. If you're going to chide people for not knowing facts, you need to make sure you have them right yourself. Roger Bannister's sub-four minute mile was run in 3.59 minutes, not 3.69 (the clue is there) and I've never heard of the racing driver Jenson Bunton. These are just the ones I noticed - so how do I know the rest of the book is correct?
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on 21 February 2014
lots of facts and details of this and that and the other. I should know that great britain everything you.
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on 15 January 2014
Loved the idea of this book, and enjoyed the style. Some good quotes & nice insights. However the accuracy of the content on the legal / political sections is rather sloppy, which then made me mistrust the rest. Would be great for teenager / foreign student but I don't think I could recommend because of some of the confusion it would cause about some of our basic constitutional & legal facts. Also ended rather abruptly.
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on 1 January 2014
As a help in passing the citizenship test this may be good. as an interesting reader for a reasonable intelligent person its a bit of a let down. it oversimplifies issues by making definitive statements that are not in reality correct. i.e. There is no separate church for Wales and Northern Ireland (sic) ( tell that to the Church in Wales (previous Archbishop Rowan Williams) or The Archbishop of All Ireland in Armagh.
Sorry too basic and inaccurate.
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on 5 January 2014
As a Brit who is slightly ashamed about their lack of knowledge of the UK, I found that the book provided a punchy, concise history of everything you'd need to know about the UK. Emma Marriott has done a great job in moving the book on at a decent pace when some parts seem to get slightly tedious and provides well rounded, well researched history of nearly everything British, with some humorous quotes from various influential Brits throughout that'll make readers grin. There are times where the book is overloaded with statistics and I found myself flicking through quickly on occasions as there are sometimes too many numbers to try to absorb. I will definitely refer back to this book in future months and years when my foreign relatives come to visit armed with questions! I highly recommend this book to anyone regardless of their depth of knowledge in the UK.
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on 9 March 2015
This was thankfully a short read. I'm not sure if the author has ever been to Britain, or has ever met a British person, but this felt like a curiously one-dimensional nightmare of a country in which we eat fish and chips incessantly, cannot hear a clock strike four without running off to find the nearest teapot, and spend our leisure time in gardening and watching "Mr Bean". This book was written recently but bears little witness to the realities of modern British life.

The inaccuracies, though, were quite funny. I'm sad to report that the Last Night of the Proms does, as advertised, only last one night, and not eight weeks as the author claims. She may be thinking of the Proms; demonstrably, this book is for those who wish to be misinformed.

If you can overlook incorrect details and terrible proof-reading (visiting the Glastonbuy festival, anyone?) you might still need to use your imagination to reach an accurate picture of the UK. I wonder if this book should be retitled "I Should Know Better".
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on 3 October 2013
Test your knowledge and learn obscure facts about Great Britain you never knew before! A great gift for those who love quiz's and trivia.
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on 21 January 2014
Very superficial and in some places inaccurate. A survey of the UK that makes no mention of her Armed Forces!
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on 11 February 2014
I was hoping for an entertaining read, to fill any gaps in knowledge and learn some interesting facts.

This just isn't it. The text drones on, and contains several inaccuracies. Some have been pointed out by other reviewers, but the Education section lists children in Scotland sitting SATs and sitting SQAs (SQA is an exam board, not a qualification) not an over simplification in this case, flat out wrong information.

At that point I checked reviews again and found others were questioning the politics information. I decided it wasn't worth persevering with the book any further. I wasn't enjoying the style and such glaring errors cause me to doubt the rest of the book.
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on 5 January 2014
I hoped to find this entertainingly educational but experienced it as a fairly dry listing of clusters of facts. It is punctuated by somewhat random quotes illustrating the ignorance of people in public life, which are amusing which but seemed to me like a parallel thread to the listing of facts rather than an effective way of making the main text more engaging. Perhaps if each section had begun with a vignette explaining the background and reaction related to a politician's foot-in-mouth demonstration of ignorance, followed by an engaging narrative of 'Here's What They Should Have Known' then the overall text might have felt like less of a compendium of lists and more of a good read.
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