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The Abolition of Britain: From Winston Churchill to Princess Diana Paperback – February 15, 2002

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books (February 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893554392
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893554399
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #375,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Andrew S. Rogers VINE VOICE on August 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
An Anglophile American reading this articulate, comprehensive, chilling, manifesto is bound to have two reactions. The first will be, 'I didn't realize it was as bad as this.' The second, dawning more slowly, will be 'How long before it gets this bad *here* too?'
Peter Hitchens argues that during the last decades, broadly speaking the era between Sir Winston Churchill's funeral in 1965 and Diana, Princess of Wales's in 1997, Britain was abolished. Not the land mass itself, obviously, but instead everything -- everything -- that once defined what it meant to be British. In chapter after relentless chapter, Hitchens shows the march of 'modern' PC orthodoxy through the Anglican Church, the marriage and divorce laws, the television and radio, the education system. History, the political system, the language, ancient ideas of loyalty and patriotism, virtue and service, even the very shape of the land itself ... all have within living memory been reshaped into something new, different -- and completely divorced from the past.
Many people have noted these changes. Hitchens' contribution lies in showing that the changes were not coincidental, but instead were deliberate, orchestrated even, and that many of the same activists were behind the various facets of the assaults.
Again and again, Hitchens produces evidence showing the arrogance and self-righteousness of the self-anointed 'reformers.' Again and again, they say, 'We recognize that the British people love the old ways, and that there is no popular clamour for change. Nevertheless, change we must.' Hitchens argues that what the 'reformers' have never been able adequately to answer is, 'Why?' And more to the point, 'Why was it necessary to destroy the old way, and make the new way mandatory?'
Why, indeed?
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Richard Semple on May 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I think, with the lack of reviews from actual British people resident in Britain under customer comments upon this book, it behoves me to put across the viewpoint that other reviewers seem to have been asking for.
The cover of Peter Hitchens' book shows the Union Jack, the flag of Great Britain, flown at half-mast. The image comes from the days after Princess Diana died and part of a nation mourned. Notably, however, another part of it clearly did not. Hitchens takes this fact and runs with it, and he is not wrong to do so. He points out that, as part of Britain poured out its emotion in a tremendous fashion, another part looked on aghast at the nakedness of sentiment being displayed. I am a mere 20 years of age, but as a passionate Brit I do not find it hard to sympathise with the point he is making here.
Most of the time we in Britain look around and things seem okay. Occasionally we wonder whether things aren't just a little bit wrong. In the aftermath of Princess Diana's death, some of us felt like strangers in our own land. The author is right to state that people are asking now and may continue to ask in ever greater numbers: exactly what happened to the country they thought they grew up in? The point is as true for all the other English-speaking nations in the world as it is for Britain.
Certainly, as some reviewers have pointed out, it would have to be conceded that Hitchens on occasion puts on rose-tinted spectacles when examining a British past often characterised by impoverishment and occasionally meaningless sacrifice. But he is no fool, and if he sometimes lapses into sentiment then we ought to forgive him if only for the many other highly relevant and prescient points he makes in this work.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Bond on November 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
30 years ago I lived up-country, deep in the African bush. Every evening I twiddled the dials and adjusted the antenna on my short-wave radio. I was tuning into the World Service of the BBC and its radio serial "the Archers - an everyday story of country folk". This serial was the epitome of Englishness - robust, honest and worthy farming families leading their lives steeped in the rich cultural heritage of England. It was a world immensely civilized and comforting - it reinforced my identity - a universe woven through with integrity, self reliance, generosity, self restraint and common sense. Its institutions, parishes, policemen drew their strength, legitimacy and harmony from a centuries-long process of growth and adaptation.

Peter Hitchens describes how this world was subverted and finally chain-sawed into oblivion by an unholy coterie of jealous and doctrinaire do-gooders, misfits, intellectuals and an evermore influential leftwing media.

We now live in a geographic entity called Britain where state schools are obliterating our extraordinary achievements with a Stalinist airbrushing of history; where policemen operate like an occupying army; where the media indoctrinate the population with trash culture and scandalously biased `news' and opinion.

Now I know why I became out of sorts with the Archers. Those stolid farmers had become uncertain, self-critical, simpering, lap-dogs to masterful, bossy, manipulative and crusading wives. They were eating quiche for tea and measuring their manure in "kilos". In the novel `1984' George Orwell invoked a creepy feeling of alienness in the reader by having his hero go into an English pub and order a "litre" of beer.
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