The English: A Portrait of a People

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Overlook Press, 1998 - History - 308 pages
5 Reviews
"Not so long ago, everybody knew who the English were. They were "polite, unexcitable, reserved, and had hot-water bottles instead of a sex life." As the dominant culture in a country that dominated an empire that dominated the world, they had had little need to examine themselves and ask who they were. But something has happened." "A new self-confidence seems to have taken hold in Wales and Scotland, while everyone tries to forge a new relationship with Europe. The English are being forced to ask what it is that makes them who they are. The Bulldog Breed ("Fearless and philistine, safe in taxis and invaluable in shipwrecks") has no place any longer." "The English is a probing, irreverent, and immensely colorful look at the meaning of Englishness. It asks the questions: What are the defining features of Englishness? What is behind the English obsession with games? Is there such a thing as an English race? What inviolable English traits remain to win the affection of Anglophiles, raise the ire of Anglo-critics, and pique the curiosity of Anglo-watchers here and abroad?" "The English traces the invention of Englishness to its current crisis and concludes that, for all their characteristic gloom about themselves, the English may have developed a form of nationalism for the twenty-first century."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Review: The English: A Portrait of a People

User Review  - Alan Williams - Goodreads

I found the first chapters rather exciting and challenging. Written over 15 years ago Paxman is surprisingly prescient of the growth of Scottish nationalism and the almost inevitable drift towards ... Read full review

Review: The English: A Portrait of a People

User Review  - Gary Cann - Goodreads

Thought-provoking and thoroughly enjoyable. A positive approach to a subject that can produce so many negative responses. Read full review


Funny Foreigners
The English Empire
True Born Englishmen and Other Lies

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About the author (1998)

Jeremy Paxman is a journalist, best known for his work presenting BBC's "Newsnight" and "University Challenge," His books include "Friends in High Places," "The English" and "The Political Animal," He lives in Oxfordshire, England.

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