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The Abolition of Britain: From Winston Churchill to Princess Diana [Paperback]

Peter Hitchens
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 24 2008
This book offers a powerful polemic on the decline of modern day Britain.Hitchens identifies everything that he feels has gone wrong with Britain since the Second World War and makes the case for the '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 brilliance and flair, Hitchens targets the pernicious effects of TV culture, the corruption and decay of English language, the loss of deference and the syrupy confessional mood brought on by the death of Princess Diana. This new paperback edition includes a brand new introduction taking the story up to the present day.

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Review

"'This is a cri de coeu r from an honest, intelligent and patriotic Englishman desperately worried about the corruption of this country and the likely effects of its lurch into the clutches of a European.' The Spectator"

About the Author

Peter Hitchens is a British journalist, author and broadcaster. A reporter for the Daily Express for most of his career, he currently writes for the Mail on Sunday.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review From A Briton... May 1 2001
Format:Hardcover
I think, with the lack of reviews from actual British people resident in Britain under customer comments upon this book, it behoves me to put across the viewpoint that other reviewers seem to have been asking for.
The cover of Peter Hitchens' book shows the Union Jack, the flag of Great Britain, flown at half-mast. The image comes from the days after Princess Diana died and part of a nation mourned. Notably, however, another part of it clearly did not. Hitchens takes this fact and runs with it, and he is not wrong to do so. He points out that, as part of Britain poured out its emotion in a tremendous fashion, another part looked on aghast at the nakedness of sentiment being displayed. I am a mere 20 years of age, but as a passionate Brit I do not find it hard to sympathise with the point he is making here.
Most of the time we in Britain look around and things seem okay. Occasionally we wonder whether things aren't just a little bit wrong. In the aftermath of Princess Diana's death, some of us felt like strangers in our own land. The author is right to state that people are asking now and may continue to ask in ever greater numbers: exactly what happened to the country they thought they grew up in? The point is as true for all the other English-speaking nations in the world as it is for Britain.
Certainly, as some reviewers have pointed out, it would have to be conceded that Hitchens on occasion puts on rose-tinted spectacles when examining a British past often characterised by impoverishment and occasionally meaningless sacrifice. But he is no fool, and if he sometimes lapses into sentiment then we ought to forgive him if only for the many other highly relevant and prescient points he makes in this work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Excellent! Feb. 7 2004
By Matt M.
Format:Hardcover
In his book, "The Abolition of Britain", journalist Peter Hitchens states profoundly what many millions of Britons currently think - that the cultural revolution that swept the nation in the aftermath of Sir Winston Churchill's death has made many feel like foreigners in their own land. Particularly poignant is his contrast between the years 1965 and 1997, and the funerals of the Greatest Briton, Sir Winston Churchill, and Diana, Princess of Wales. In 1965, Britain was a restrained, conservative and patriotic society. A nation mourned at the death of a great man, but it did so in a solemn and dignified manner. Cranes were lowered in respect along the Thames and people filed quietly along to catch a glimpse of Churchill's coffin. Hitchens also makes marked contrasts between the general perceptions of the populations of both years. In 1965, Britons looked towards the Empire as an achievement to be proud of, and they looked back with pride over the 1000 years plus of British history. How different it is today. Hitchens' most potent revelation is his description of the marked contrast with the funeral of Lady Diana, when an outpouring of emotion swept over the nation in torrents. The funeral processions were most unlike those of Sir Winston. Hitchens correctly highlights Churchill's death as the point when the Britain of old, the Britain whose values it's gallant soldiers defended against the menaces of Hitler and the Kaiser, began to be seriously undermined by the politically-correct leftists. Hitchens' book is a profound indictment of Blairism and the fuzzy "Third Way" political system which it has created. This is a book that needs to read by ALL Britons, for it explains where the entire concept of Britain and the British became undermined. Excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Britain has become a shadow of its former self. This is a hard hitting, no holds barred social criticism from journalist Peter Hitchens. Hitchens is quite a wordsmith and has taken to the task of putting Tony Blair's "Cool Britannia" under a microscope. The UK just like my beloved America is in the midst of a culture war. Britain's traditions, culture and cherished national institutions are being demonized and eroded from within by cultural Marxism... Hitchens is quite frank in admitting the British national spirit has lost its dynamo, because of the assent of the Americans on the world stage, which has become a political, cultural and economic superpower. Though, he tacitly admits Britain can't blame all of its woes on Hollywood and Yankees. It appears Gramsci's "long march through the institutions" has taken its toll, particularly in Britain. Frankly, Britain seems to be in a worst boat than the US now with its embrace of multiculturalism. Britain has been browbeaten into an imperial guilt complex where its cherished cultural contribution to the world is ridiculed as "racist" and "jingoistic." Even Shakespeare is under attack which Hitchens makes light of. Hitchens also chronicles the attack on traditional morality and Christendom by liberal relativists. Britain's sexual revolution has dealt a harsh blow to the traditional family while a state hijacked by leftists has aided and abetted in the attack on the family. Take a walk on a London street, as I have, and you'll see phone booths littered with pornographic solicitations for prostitutes. And the societal stigmatism against immorality seems to have faded. The book really doesn't touch much on the immigration issue though... Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Well written with passion, but for what end?
As an American conservative, I was recommended this book. In one work, this book shows the great ideological divide between modern American conservatives and the High Tories that... Read more
Published on Nov. 4 2003 by Anthony Calabrese
5.0 out of 5 stars Peerless
British history (and permutations of its ruthless geneology) makes Tralfamadore look more like Utopia with each passing Night. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2003 by Kilgore Trout
4.0 out of 5 stars Highlights Difference between American &English Conservatism
This is an extremely well written book. I do not intend to enter the controversy that it has provoked. Read more
Published on Nov. 25 2002 by Dr. Robin O'Hair
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad book but raises important issues
This book is written by an ex-left wing Trotskyite and the brother of well known progressive journalist Christopher Hitchens. Read more
Published on Sept. 12 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A Passionate Review of What Progressiveism Has Cost
I think this book is very misunderstood. As I read it I do not feel that Mr. Hitchens is calling for a turning back of the clock or to bring back any "bad old days" for anyone. Read more
Published on April 18 2002 by Craig Matteson
1.0 out of 5 stars 'This is nonsense- I'm British
This book- aimed at the American market- incorrectly depicts Britain in a harmful, yet unfortunately stereotypical manner. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2002 by Matt Ruby
1.0 out of 5 stars A bigot in traditional clothing
A truly awful book lamenting a time when old, white men ruled through a system of patronage, nepotism and oppression. Don't mistake this ridiculous tome as history. Read more
Published on Nov. 4 2001 by Mr. Timothy J. Bussell
3.0 out of 5 stars It is not this simple!
A plea to my American counterparts - please do not take the image this book presents as an accurate view of the UK. Read more
Published on Oct. 25 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read to save a great civilization from extinction
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. Read more
Published on Aug. 15 2001 by Geoffrey Bond
1.0 out of 5 stars Bitter Tasting
I started reading this book to learn more about recent British history. I cannot ever read it again. To Mr. Read more
Published on Aug. 9 2001
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