How Britain Really Works
Understanding the Ideas and Institutions of a Nation
By Stig Abell
A witty, engaging and wide-ranging attempt to understand the country we now live in
'Absorbing . . . an intelligent and clear-eyed account of much that goes on in our country' Sunday Times
'Wry and readable' Guardian
Getting to grips with Great Britain is harder than ever. We are a nation that chose Brexit, rejects immigration but is dependent on it, is getting older but less healthy, is more demanding of public services but less willing to pay for them, is tired of intervention abroad but wants to remain a global authority. We have an over-stretched, free health service (an idea from the 1940s that may not survive the 2020s), overcrowded prisons, a military without an evident purpose, an education system the envy of none of the Western world.
How did we get here and where are we going?
How Britain Really Works is a guide to Britain and its institutions (the economy, the military, schools, hospitals, the media, and more), which explains just how we got to wherever it is we are. It will not tell you what opinions to have, but will give you the information to help you reach your own. By the end, you will know how Britain works - or doesn't.
'Stig Abell is an urbane, and often jaunty guide to modern Britain, in the mould of Bill Bryson' Irish Times
Stig Abell is the editor and publisher of the Times Literary Supplement, which he thinks is the most important literary publication in the world.
He presented a weekly radio programme on LBC for the last three years, in which he got the chance to talk about political and social issues with anybody who called in, and pops up as a commentator on Sky News and the BBC. He has written for almost every newspaper in Britain, and one or two in America as well. He now presents Front Row on Radio 4.
Previously, he had been the Director of the Press Complaints Commission and the Managing Editor of Britain's biggest newspaper (The Sun). He also worked in crisis communications, although not for very long. How Britain Really Works is his first book.
- Other details
- Publication date:
07 Mar 2019
- Page count:
Absorbing . . . an intelligent and clear-eyed account of much that goes on in our country — Sunday Times
Wry and readable . . . a smart execution of an idea that is more important than it sounds - in a world convulsed by polarising ideologies and white-hot feelings, there is a lot to be said for writing that is cool and fact-based — Guardian
Stig Abell is an urbane, and often jaunty guide to modern Britain, in the mould of Bill Bryson . . . he provides thoughtful explorations of each subject throughout — Irish Times
Vivid, funny, and full of interesting glimpses of the way Britain works, viewed from angles I hadn't seen before — Philip Pullman
If you fear Britain's going slightly Brexit bonkers, then this will explain why. An excellent, incisive and witty analysis of how this country works, or as so often . . . doesn't! — Piers Morgan
A fascinating piece of ultra recent history. How we got to where we are, and why. Confused about modern Britain? Read this book — Dan Snow
An engaging, entertaining and sometimes eyebrow-raising read — Jack Monroe
This book brilliantly unpicks our strange little island, and shows us where we find ourselves in the modern world — Dermot O'Leary
Simply, I have never read a better book about Britain. This is a proper and touching examination of the mad little island that I'm so fond of. Everyone should read it, whether they think they already know about our country, or not — Xand Van Tulleken
Entertaining, enlightening and often rather scary . . . — Adam Kay