Synopses & Reviews
In The Abolition of Britain
, prominent English social critic Peter Hitchens writes of the period between the death of Winston Churchill and the funeral of Princess Diana, a time he believes has seen disastrous changes in English life. The current generation, he believes, looks back on Britain's illustrious past as if it were a foreign country. They have allowed a tradition stretching back hundreds of years to be replaced with "the most intolerant system of thought to dominate the British Isles since the Reformation." Accepted notions of patriotism, faith, and morality have been overthrown, along with the most fundamental notions of what it means to be a citizen. In the ethos surrounding Tony Blair's Labor Party, Hitchens finds a "politically correct zeal for the new" whose effect on daily life in England has been "devastating."
A surprise best seller in England, The Abolition of Britain is bitingly witty and fiercely argued, yet also filled with somber appreciation for what "the idea of England" has always meant to the West and to the world.
"A tremendous sensation when it was published in Britain, this is an intriguing study that will naturally arouse a good deal less passion on these shores." Kirkus Reviews
"When you read it, you know where you stand, who the enemy is, and that there really is still a great ideological divide about every aspect of society." The Guardian (London)
"The book is a stunning elegy for the England that the Left destroyed." Los Angeles Times
Prominent English social critic Hitchens writes of the period between the death of Winston Churchill and the funeral of Princess Diana--a time he believes has seen disastrous changes in English life.
A surprise best seller in England, The Abolition of Britain is bitingly witty and fiercely argued, yet also filled with somber appreciation for what the idea of England” has always meant to the West and to the world at large. One English critic called The Abolition of Britain an elegant jeremiad” in which Peter Hitchens identifies everything that has gone wrong with Britain since World War II and makes the case for those many millions who feel that they have become foreigners in their own land and wish with each succeeding day that they could turn the clock back.” Writing with passion and flair, Hitchens targets the pernicious effects of TV culture, the corruption and decay” of the English language, the loss of politeness, and the syrupy confessional mood” brought on by the death of Diana, which Hitchens contrasts with the somber national response to the death of Winston Churchill. If there is a term that summarizes everything that has gone wrong in Britain, it is Tony Blairism,” which Hitchens sees as having rewritten Englands history, trivialized its journalism, subverted its educational system and cultural standards, and overthrown accepted notions of patriotism, faith, and morality. The New Britain is government by focus group in which people are told what to feel as a way of preventing them from asking how they want to be governed. Looking at the changed face of his country, Hitchens finds a politically correct zeal for the new” whose impact on daily life has been as devastating in effect, if not in violence, as Mao tse Tungs Cultural Revolution in China.”
About the Author
Hitchens is one of Britain's most controversial journalists. He covered the fall of communism from Moscow and East Germany, and was the London Daily Express correspondent in Washington.