- Series: Contemporary States and Societies
- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2nd edition (August 15, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0230002137
- ISBN-13: 978-0230002135
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
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Contemporary Britain, Second Edition (Contemporary States and Societies) 2nd Edition
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"Very well written and very readable... While this book would be ideally suited to students from overseas, there is much here for students from the British Isles... [A] useful and interesting.... starting point for research and further reading... This book achieves its aims very well."--Victoria Honeyman, Political Studies Review
About the Author
Top customer reviews
He aims to give a brief and accessible account of Britain, but is not objective. As he writes, the book makes two core arguments, that claims of decline are overblown, and that our future lies with the European Union.
His chapters cover Britain's history, land and people, social system, government, politics and civil society, the economy, culture and lifestyle, and Britain and the world. He notes and applauds the recent rise in immigration from the new EU member states.
He distinguishes classes by the kind of work done, i.e. both manual and non-manual workers have to work for a living. So `middle class' is just a posh, banal, term for non-manual workers. He argues that social mobility is increasing, and then cites evidence that proves that it isn't.
His is the conventional, establishment, point of view. He describes the trade union movement as an interest group, and does not even mention industry in the index. He claims that there have been three big influences on post-war Britain - the end of empire, the EU and Thatcherism - and concludes, "the changes that have come out of these three broad forces have been overwhelmingly positive." His blatant passion for Thatcher and capitalism leads straight to his passion for the EU.
He sums up, "Whether they like it or not, and many do not, the British are daily being further integrated into the networks that have pulled the states of Europe closer together since the early 1950s. European law permeates British law. European policy plays a central role in areas as diverse as agriculture, consumer protection, the environment, fisheries, trade, transport and working conditions ... Eventual membership of the euro is all but inevitable, as are the creation of a European military force and the development of common European foreign and security policies."
He is one of the chorus driving us into ever closer union `whether we like it or not'. But we do not like it, and we do not accept it.