The English: A Portrait of a People by Jeremy Paxman

16 Apr

The fourth in a series of posts On Being English.

Paxman’s book is well researched, and packed with interesting points and ideas – the best book I’ve read on being English.

He covers our views of foreigners, the anachronistic view of a bucolic England to which so many aspire and he rubbishes our self-effacing view that we are doomed as a nation.

He describes the traditional Englishman and Englishwoman, and although it informs us of our past, does not define our present states.

He points out that we have given a lot to the world, and continue to do so. Yet we still have a defeatist attitude, thinking that we are somehow in decline – a nod, perhaps, to our long-lived love of the underdog.

Finally, we are less a homogeneous society (class differences aside), and are now a vibrant society of individuals. And although this means ideas of a strictly defined nationhood are no longer valid, or even possible, it is a strength that will give us more than it will take away.

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2 Responses to “The English: A Portrait of a People by Jeremy Paxman”

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  1. On Being English « unfebuckinglievable - April 16, 2012

    […] The English: A Portrait of a People by Jeremy Paxman […]

  2. The Political Animal by Jeremy Paxman | unfebuckinglievable - February 10, 2014

    […] enjoyed his book about the English people and this book is bigger and better: more in-depth and better […]

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