In this acclaimed study of British statehood, identity and culture, Tom Nairn deftly dispels the conviction that the Royal Family is nothing more than an amusing relic of feudalism or a mere tourist attraction. Instead, he argues that the monarchy is both apex and essence of the British state, the symbol of a national backwardness. In this fully updated edition, Nairn’s powerful and bitterly comic prose lays bare Britain’s peculiar, pseudo-modern, national identity—which remains stubbornly fixated on the Crown and its constitutional framework, the “parliamentary sovereignty” of Westminster.
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Tom Nairn‘s many books include The Break-up of Britain, Faces of Nationalism, After Britain, and The Enchanted Glass. He writes for, among others, New Left Review and the London Review of Books.Review:
“A long and brilliant meditation on the nature of the British state, its identity and national culture ... one of the most powerful and original pieces of writing I have ever read on the subject.”—London Review of Books
“An ambitious and ruthless dissection of the most down-market comic opera of our age.”—Sunday Times
“Dazzling, cliche?-nailing ... The first serious study for more than a hundred years to take a coldly analytical look at this most emotion-charged part of our heritage, it reflects a growing sense of the peculiarity of it all.”—The Observer
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