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Britain Explained: Understanding British Identity

by Martin Upham
£12.99 / €16 / $17.50USD Buy Now
ISBN: 9780993454974 Published: 18 May 2017


The 2016 EU referendum underlined Britain’s differences from its continental neighbours. But it also demonstrated how this ‘united’ kingdom is in many ways very disunited. England and Wales voted one way, Northern Ireland and Scotland the other; and within England the provinces voted against London. Such divisions are nothing new. Clashing interests and identities are expressed in every aspect of British history and contemporary life – not only in politics, but in education, the economy, law, culture, sport, religion and social attitudes.

Author Martin Upham spent many years explaining the complexities of British identity to Americans ‘studying abroad’ in London, where he was the director of AHA International (now GEO). This book is based on that experience.

The result is a fascinating expedition that will entertain and educate not just students of British society and culture and those coming from abroad but also general readers concerned about the state of Britain − whether they are Brexiters or Remainers.

With more than 130 illustrations of British historical and contemporary personalities and places.

Table of Contents

  1. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  2. Political parties, parliament and elections
  3. Monarchy, government and the constitution
  4. England and the Union
  5. Ireland and the Union
  6. Wales and the Union
  7. Scotland and the Union
  8. London
  9. Brexit!
  10. Facing the world
  11. An open economy
  12. Social identities
  13. A nation of unbelievers
  14. Not just Eton and Oxford
  15. Culture for all
  16. Playing the game
  17. The news media
  18. From the cradle to the grave
  19. The law of the land
  20. Science superpower
  21. A green and pleasant land?

Illustrations throughout. Index