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The Abolition of Britain: From Winston Churchill to Princess Diana Paperback – Feb 15 2002

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books; New edition edition (Feb. 15 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893554392
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893554399
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.4 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,906,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa461727c) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4f48fe4) out of 5 stars A must-read to save a great civilization from extinction, Nov. 23 2004
By Geoff Bond - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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. I was tuning into the World Service of the BBC and its radio serial "the Archers - an everyday story of country folk". This serial was the epitome of Englishness - robust, honest and worthy farming families leading their lives steeped in the rich cultural heritage of England. It was a world immensely civilized and comforting - it reinforced my identity - a universe woven through with integrity, self reliance, generosity, self restraint and common sense. Its institutions, parishes, policemen drew their strength, legitimacy and harmony from a centuries-long process of growth and adaptation.

Peter Hitchens describes how this world was subverted and finally chain-sawed into oblivion by an unholy coterie of jealous and doctrinaire do-gooders, misfits, intellectuals and an evermore influential leftwing media.

We now live in a geographic entity called Britain where state schools are obliterating our extraordinary achievements with a Stalinist airbrushing of history; where policemen operate like an occupying army; where the media indoctrinate the population with trash culture and scandalously biased `news' and opinion.

Now I know why I became out of sorts with the Archers. Those stolid farmers had become uncertain, self-critical, simpering, lap-dogs to masterful, bossy, manipulative and crusading wives. They were eating quiche for tea and measuring their manure in "kilos". In the novel `1984' George Orwell invoked a creepy feeling of alienness in the reader by having his hero go into an English pub and order a "litre" of beer. Well, pints are still in English pubs - just, but the new Archers' Britain invoked exactly the same feeling of alienness in me. And Peter Hitchens has explained why.

That Archers' England has been captured by scriptwriters, politicians and activists who have a clear agenda - to mock, denigrate and finally wipe out all that they could find of beauty and strength and worth - and replace it with a gender neutral, guilt-ridden, multicultural nightmare. Meanwhile the general population is sedated into apathy by consumer prosperity and brain rotting, social conditioning TV. It is an England that "would have lost at Trafalgar and Waterloo, and given up on the attempt to colonize America, because of the absence of safety nets, sexual equality and proper child care."

This same coterie hypocritically sends their children to élite schools to avoid them being turned into "mannerless, uncultured ignoramuses" by the state cooperative.

Peter Hitchens' work challenges head-on the new taboos and shibboleths erected by this coterie. Of course they spit and fume in frustration when he mercilessly dissects the cancerous, illogical and spiteful nature of their doctrines. Some of them have written sulphurous reviews on this page. Pay no attention to them - they are the Little Folk. Low self-esteem, the worm in the wood, the taint in the blood. They might change masters but they will be forever slaves.

As Anatole Kaletsky wrote, "a nation that loses its self awareness will lose its self-respect" and "Many people have become embarrassed, even afraid of being British". On those nosey, multi-racial official forms I am reduced to writing `Native English' in the `Other' box...

Is there any hope? Peter Hitchens book is a magnificent call to arms. It is required reading for the British people to confront the dry-rot that is eating the heart out of their cultural identity.
24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4e167e0) out of 5 stars Objections to the first review displayed on amazon.com site Nov. 20 2002
By Peter J. Hitchens - Published on Amazon.com
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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4c60eb8) out of 5 stars Excellent journalistic guide to what has happened to modern Britain. March 17 2011
By Wessexman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In this astute work Peter Hitchens gives an overview of changes in British culture since the 1950s and 1960s from his 'traditional conservative' background. He does this by an historical examination of distinct areas of British society and culture, from the influence of television to the state of the Church of England. Each of these sections may not be all that can be said on the subject but he usually gives a remarkably in depth coverage, for the space available, which allows the reader to easily understand the core of the changes and their contexts, motivations and consequences.

The framework he uses for his analysis is certainly medium term, if I can be excused such a clumsy phrase. He is interested in the decline of Britain from the 50s onwards, although he occasionally mentions deeper roots for these trends. He does not usually set his sights beyond the pre-60s culture of Britain; there is no talk of the insights of Burke or Disraeli into the nature of the British constitution and nation here. Obviously this limits his vision somewhat but for his purpose it works and even grants his analysis strength by preventing an overreach in vision.

His style is that evocative and clear variety of the best journalistic work. It amply fits the situation, being able to clearly and imaginatively convey Britain past and present without being too academic or poetic. In my opinion he is a superior prose stylist to his brother, as well as being decidedly more clear and focused in his argumentation(at least compared to God is not Great.).

There are some problems with some of his arguments however. In particular I thought parts of his discussion of the Church of England were misguided. For example I thought his reasons behind his preference for 'Protestant' services rather than 'Catholic' communion lacked a certain depth, more focused as it seemed to be on worldly matters rather than the theological and spiritual. The relationship of 'Protestantism' and 'Catholicism'(and perhaps 'Orthodoxy' and Celtic Christianity.) in the Church of England is a quagmire that requires a deeper analysis in my opinion and is perhaps without a real solution short of a radical redefinition of the church. But such problems were relatively rare in an otherwise thoughtful exploration of numerous areas of British culture and society.

Additional: This work was first published in 1999, it still has great value for explaining current British cultural and social problems, though of course the same trends Peter noted 12 years or so ago have largely continued and even more developments could be added to most sections. Importantly though in this work Peter mentions the still not insignificant minority, perhaps on some issues a majority, of people(particularly those born before 1950.) who had something like traditional values and beliefs, but were not far-right, in Britain of the late 1990s. He notes these people have been scattered by changes largely led, or at rather unleashed, from above and lack leadership or a voice and therefore are treated as though they basically don't exist(how many young people are quick to state Britain is a socially liberal or 'progressive' nation after only having been in touch with it through their immediate acquittance and the BBC and commercial TV networks and state schools and so forth!). This section of the British community did not find a voice in the last dozen years and has declined in numbers and in cohesion. It isn't gone but it can no longer been seen as simply on the back foot, waiting for leadership and organisation.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5461ba0) out of 5 stars Hovis The Bread That Built a Nation Nov. 22 2006
By SusScrofa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a lad of 1970's England, I was treated to many of the socialist inspired cultural reformations that hurt Hitchens' heart. I didn't have a maths class, I had a class called "Logic." Sex education consisted of a film shown to my fellow 8 year olds of naked pre-pubescent kids jumping into a swimming pool...oh how we all cringed in embarrassment. We didn't read "Great Expectations" we read "Stig of the Dump." No school desks, we sat on tiny armchairs in a circle and discussed subjects.
There is a brilliance to much of Hitchens' lamentations in this work that makes for a sadness when one is made to realize all that has been forgotten and wrecked that was good about Britain.
That said, there is much I do not miss that he waxes nostalgic for. Society and culture rarely remain static, and the old adage about hindsight being twenty twenty applies to this book in many ways.
We had a TV commercial back in the 70's that pitched a brand of "brown bread" (it was colored that way, it was not whole grain)called Hovis. It depicted a young working class boy and his dad walking up a steep hill in the early part of the 20th century in a North England town. When they arrive home, cheerful mum has plenty of Hovis on hand. The music in the background, a traditional English brass band, plays a solemn yet cozy tune. By implication it was great back then, everyone was chipper, life was wholesome and of course, so is Hovis bread. A comedian, Tony Capstick, soon recorded a send up song to that tune speaking in voice over as the lad now all grown up that went something like this: I'll never forget that first day down pit(coal mine), me father and me worked a 72 hour shift, then walked 43 miles home in the freezing snow wearing sacks for clothing...we had a lot of good things in them days, rickets, diphtheria.
The book at times does come off as a little like the Hovis ad, and perhaps Hitchens' misty eyes for the past are at points clouded more by sentimentalism than reality. He is a conservative but a statist conservative. He wants the government to nanny society just as liberals do; just in opposite ways. It is perhaps this facet of his thinking that I find most disagreeable. If there are now schools in Britain that are essentially Islamic madrassas that he dislikes, it is a consequence of the state sponsoring Christian schools earlier on that he liked. If homes have become cookie-cutter and characterless it is a consequence of government provided housing. The decline of the church, perhaps a response to having religion as an arm of the state. Hitchens' dislikes the virtual disappearance of the British Union Flag in preference to the specifically English St. George Cross. I consider myself English and not British, because like many of my countrymen I realize that Britain is a political contrivance not an identity.
Hitchens' makes his case eloquently even if not in my opinion always accurately, but we both agree that what Britain is now is a pitiful spectre of it's past great attributes.
6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4c82468) out of 5 stars Essentially the same Dec 6 2010
By Dark Knight - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Hitchens brothers, though theoretically ideological polar opposites, are in fact a perfect illustration of what's wrong with Britain. They are both public school Oxbridge types who, whether they accept it or not, are essentially of the same group in the same way that Tony Blair and David Cameron, George Osborne and Peter Mandelson, are of the same group. They are all members of what can broadly be described as 'the ruling class', a class willing to set aside relatively minor ideological differences to sustain what is essentially a conspiracy against the masses.
The reason that British education has made little headway over the last fifty years is that the ruling class - Tory or New Labour - doesn't want it to. After all, British state schools are for the education of the 'oiks' - a class of people who need to be kept down if the corrupt incompetence of the status quo is to survive. So long as the public school system and all its attendant injustices can be maintained, then the state system can safely be left to rot on the vine as far as these people are concerned.
Christopher Hitchens, supposedly a 'compassionate' left-winger, dismisses housing estate products as 'oafs' in his latest book while his brother Peter has in the past espoused the supposed glories of the secondary modern schools, a system of education designed for the specific purpose of keeping working class people in their place. Neither brother can be said to have a real insight into grassroots British life because they attended schools whose entire ethos is based on keeping them apart from the unwashed hordes.
I suspect the differences between these two, specifically in the areas of politics and faith, are more of an exercise in cerebral jousting than anything truly heartfelt. The truth is that both are beneficiaries of a grotesquely unjust society in which the ruling class is committed to keeping the masses dumb and dependent. It is, as intelligent observers have been saying for years, a formula for failure, which is precisely what Britain is. There is not a single area of British life in which the incompetent ruling class has achieved anything remotely worthwhile, except perhaps the creation of the National Health Service, which remains the UK's only really laudable institution, in spite of its deficiencies.
Peter Hitchens cries out for a past that never was. Britain has never been an aspirational society - it is a savagely divided society orchestrated for the enrichment of the ruling class, of which the Hitchens brothers are part by virtue of their education. In fact, Christopher writes in his memoirs that his mother was determined he should not be part of the common people and that he was truly grateful that he would never have to be, thanks to his schooling. Some socialist!
A current TV programme is tracking what is known as The American Dream. Ask yourself: has there ever been anything resembling a British Dream? Never - and people like the Hitchens brothers are part of the elitist conspiracy that renders dreaming in Britain an exercise in futility.

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