Prominent English social critic Peter Hitchens writes of the period between the death of Winston Churchill and the funeral of Princess Diana, a time he believes has seen disastrous changes in English life. The Abolition of Britain is bitingly witty and fiercely argued, yet also filled with somber appreciation for what the idea of England has always meant to the West and to the world.
©2008 Peter Hitchens (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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"what can i say ?"
i am sympathetic to a lot of Peter Hitchens views, i share his faith am uneasy about the path my country has followed in my life time and i think he makes many valid points.
i would warn anybody not to just dismiss him out of hand..
that said however it sometimes felt like one long grumble by a grumpy bloke...
well it is a grumble !
i would recommend also trying to listen to somebody with an apposing view. maybe trawl the internet to catch Peter in debate?
"A rushed reading"
Whilst Peter Hitchins has a good voice his narrative was rushed in parts and difficult to follow.
Spoken way too fast - really shockingly poor narration. At times utterly mumbled. Much of it is right wing rant - but some chapters (eg that on the Church) lose the rant in favour of clever analysis. Worth listening to - if only to at times wildly disagree with.
"Though much is taken, much abides;"
This is Peter Hitchens' first book, in which he sets out the framework of his Burkean, Anglican & Conservative view of Britain. It takes the form of a lamentation for the peculiarly English civilisation that spanned the 18th & 19th centuries, and documents the extent to which it was demolished in the 20th. The funerals of Winston Churchill & Diana Spencer are used to bracket the period in which the destruction was most rapid.
There is not a cheerful book, it is clearly not meant to be a balanced account of the postwar period. However, cynicism is tempered with dry wit and it made me laugh in a number of places.
The book seems at least as relevant now as it was when first published. The last chapter deals with the serious possibility of Britain being dissolved into a federation of European states.
Few good writers are also accomplished speakers, let alone feel as passionately about their subject as Peter clearly does. This audio book benefits greatly from being narrated by the author.
"A very entertaining read."
A very good synopsis of how we arrived at our present times, presented in a courteous and generally well-researched manner. I would criticise the author's, perhaps rather nostalgic attachment to the King James Bible and its alleged link to the liberalising of the Anglican Church. Textual critical reasons abound for preferring many of the modern translations, with their generally improved accuracy derived from recent manuscript data (sources which Erasmus et al could only have dreamed of). I would have liked to have seen more interaction with such research, but recognise that it is well beyond the scope of this book.
"Worth the listen"
The way Hitchens reads I don't find easy to follow. He reads very quickly but at an uneven pace. He also dips into a lower register long before the end of a long sentence, which ends up sounding like a mumble. Pretty much the way he delivers his speeches.
As regards the content, it contains an interesting look at our recent past with Hitchens bemoaning the loss of most of it; this is the area which raises the most debatable points. Later there are some excellent chapters showing how much as a people and a country we have changed.
"Devastating and enlightening"
We will look back on this work as the obituary of our nation. The question for millennials like myself - is it too late to save our country?
"great to hear it in peter's voice"
a great overview of the moral decline of the UK. very dense in information. may have to give it a second listen at some point. always great to have an author read their own work.
"Best Political Book Of The Century"
A superb and informative read from start to finish. A very well formed analysis of how Britain has found itself where it is today and, more importantly, the lessons that should be taken from an unprecedented social upheaval and cultural revolution.
Peter is by far my favourite social commentator and does not disappoint with this superb book, I shall be reading The War We Never Fought next. Thanks, Peter!
"Seductive but flawed"
Hearing such a compelling writer make such a relentless case for conservatism is a seductive thing - Hitchens is one of the great crafters of sentences. However, it is important to remember where the holes in his arguments are. He often fails to acknowledge that social change doesn't come from nihilism or a perceived unfairness but from a very real inequality and the natural human desire to redress that.
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