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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: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,290,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 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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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Peter J. Hitchens on November 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
I object to the inclusion of the first review of my book 'The Abolition of Britain' in the amazon.com site. The 'reviewer' plainly has not read the book since he repeatedly and almost obsessively refers to content on immigration. The book does not even mention immigration. I don't object to uncomplimentary reviews. They are part of the author's job. But I am baffled that amazon.com should have selected this hostile and ignorant diatribe as the FIRST review of my book(out of more than 20) displayed on the site.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wessexman on March 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
In this astute work Peter Hitchens gives an overview of changes in British culture since the 1950s and 1960s from his 'traditional conservative' background. He does this by an historical examination of distinct areas of British society and culture, from the influence of television to the state of the Church of England. Each of these sections may not be all that can be said on the subject but he usually gives a remarkably in depth coverage, for the space available, which allows the reader to easily understand the core of the changes and their contexts, motivations and consequences.

The framework he uses for his analysis is certainly medium term, if I can be excused such a clumsy phrase. He is interested in the decline of Britain from the 50s onwards, although he occasionally mentions deeper roots for these trends. He does not usually set his sights beyond the pre-60s culture of Britain; there is no talk of the insights of Burke or Disraeli into the nature of the British constitution and nation here. Obviously this limits his vision somewhat but for his purpose it works and even grants his analysis strength by preventing an overreach in vision.

His style is that evocative and clear variety of the best journalistic work. It amply fits the situation, being able to clearly and imaginatively convey Britain past and present without being too academic or poetic. In my opinion he is a superior prose stylist to his brother, as well as being decidedly more clear and focused in his argumentation(at least compared to God is not Great.).

There are some problems with some of his arguments however. In particular I thought parts of his discussion of the Church of England were misguided.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By SusScrofa on November 22, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a lad of 1970's England, I was treated to many of the socialist inspired cultural reformations that hurt Hitchens' heart. I didn't have a maths class, I had a class called "Logic." Sex education consisted of a film shown to my fellow 8 year olds of naked pre-pubescent kids jumping into a swimming pool...oh how we all cringed in embarrassment. We didn't read "Great Expectations" we read "Stig of the Dump." No school desks, we sat on tiny armchairs in a circle and discussed subjects.
There is a brilliance to much of Hitchens' lamentations in this work that makes for a sadness when one is made to realize all that has been forgotten and wrecked that was good about Britain.
That said, there is much I do not miss that he waxes nostalgic for. Society and culture rarely remain static, and the old adage about hindsight being twenty twenty applies to this book in many ways.
We had a TV commercial back in the 70's that pitched a brand of "brown bread" (it was colored that way, it was not whole grain)called Hovis. It depicted a young working class boy and his dad walking up a steep hill in the early part of the 20th century in a North England town. When they arrive home, cheerful mum has plenty of Hovis on hand. The music in the background, a traditional English brass band, plays a solemn yet cozy tune. By implication it was great back then, everyone was chipper, life was wholesome and of course, so is Hovis bread. A comedian, Tony Capstick, soon recorded a send up song to that tune speaking in voice over as the lad now all grown up that went something like this: I'll never forget that first day down pit(coal mine), me father and me worked a 72 hour shift, then walked 43 miles home in the freezing snow wearing sacks for clothing...
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