Synopses & Reviews
In this acclaimed study of British statehood, identity and culture, Tom Nairn deftly dispels the conviction that the Royal Family is nothing more than an amusing relic of feudalism or a mere tourist attraction. Instead, he argues that the monarchy is both apex and essence of the British state, the symbol of a national backwardness. In this fully updated edition, Nairn's powerful and bitterly comic prose lays bare Britain's peculiar, pseudo-modern, national identity--which remains stubbornly fixated on the Crown and its constitutional framework, the "parliamentary sovereignty" of Westminster.
"A long and brilliant meditation on the nature of the British state, its identity and national culture ... one of the most powerful and original pieces of writing I have ever read on the subject." London Review of Books
"Dazzling, cliché-nailing ... The first serious study for more than a hundred years to take a coldly analytical look at this most emotion-charged part of our heritage, it reflects a growing sense of the peculiarity of it all." The Observer
"An ambitious and ruthless dissection of the most down-market comic opera of our age." Sunday Times
In this acclaimed meditation on the British state, its identity and culture, Tom Nairn sees the monarchy both as its apex and its essence, the symbol of a national backwardness. This powerful, analytical, and bitterly funny book lays bare Britain's peculiar, pseudo-modern, national identity, one that remains fixated on the Crown and its constitutional framework, the "parliamentary sovereignty" of Westminster.
The acclaimed anatomy of Britain's relationship with its monarchy, by the foremost historian of nationalism.
About the Author
Tom Nairn's many books include The Break-up of Britain, Faces of Nationalism, After Britain, and The Enchanted Glass. He writes for, among others, New Left Review and the London Review of Books.