The question of what it means to be British now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, is a vitally important one. Boris Johnson has travelled throughout the United Kingdom, listening and talking, and here sets out his answers: what are the values of this new Britain and how does its society differ from the one there was before?
The question of what it means to be British now is an increasingly pressing one. What are the values of this new Britain? How does its society differ from others, and from the one that was there before? It is vitally important that there is an intelligent, lively and informed debate on the subject. Boris Johnson, author, journalist, Member of Parliament, set out to find some answers. Travelling throughout the United Kingdom, he listened to and talked to a wide circle of people, read in and around the subject, and here describes his journey of discovery and sets out his conclusions.
Everyone agrees that it is important to have a common sense of identity but it is difficult to find an agreed profile of what this is. The Citizenship ceremony for new citizens presents some background but Boris Johnson has his own clear views. In talking to people young and old, from every part of the British Isles, from those long settled to more recent arrivals, of every class, race and creed, he builds up a picture of precisely what it means to be British.
The paths Boris Johnson follows reveal to readers the great importance of a shared sense of history and of our heritage, of the location of these islands, of the English language and of our sense of the British style. He also discusses how vital symbols are to our sense of shared identity and which these are – the Union flag, the monarchy, Big Ben, Windsor Castle, the London Eye?
‘The British’ stimulates, informs and enriches through Boris Johnson's lively journey of discovery. As he says, 'What is the albumen that binds the omelette together?'.
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Praise for 'The Dream of Rome':
'Written with all the wit and zest that have helped to make him Britain's favourite celebrity MP.' Tom Holland, Daily Telegraph
'Johnson has not been intimidated by dry classics masters: his style is bright, breezy, populist and pacy.' The Times
'Described with his special combination of sharp-eyed intelligence and golly-gosh exclamation…a splendid romp through the Roman world.' Sunday Telegraph
'Lovers of Latin and ancient history unite! At long last there is a warm, funny, erudite introduction to the Roman empire…a marvellous reader-friendly account of Rome.' Independent
'History comes alive only when written from the heart and Johnson's is full of swashbuckling japes, bloodthirsty yells and energetic sideswipes.' Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
Praise for Boris Johnson and ‘Friends, Voters, Countrymen’:
'Johnson has cracked the art of making politics invigorating.' Daily Telegraph
'Such an entertaining read.' Daily Mail
'It is very funny and has, in short, all the idiosyncracies of its author.' Jeremy PaxmanAbout the Author:
Boris Johnson is an MP for Henley and Shadow Minister for Higher Education. He writes a column for the Daily Telegraph and lives in London and Oxfordshire with his wife and children.
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