Nik Cohn Yes We Have No

ISBN 13: 9780099883203

Yes We Have No

9780099883203: Yes We Have No

Cohn takes a long wild ride through England, a country he calls "the Republic", meeting the rising stars of the new culture, and also the casualties. Their collected stories, both weird and wonderful, combine to form a tapestry quite unlike any notion of England that has existed before.

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Long-term commentator on the alternative and strange, Nik Cohn has an empathy with outcasts and exiles that makes his book of "adventures in other England" powerful and moving. In the company of the wired and the entranced, he goes to pubs in Toxteth and meetings of Odin-worshippers and just listens to people talking. This is not Cool Britannia and it is not a New Britain for New Labour--Cohn talks to communities of the marginalised whose sense of the way things works is entirely at odds with the squeaky clean. He talks to Asians who came here to work and find themselves hated by their white neighbours and unable quite to deal with sons and daughters whose version of a culture of their own draws on those bits of Asian culture they find austere or too wild and on a Britishness that has little to do with traditional ideas of work. He talks to embittered West Indians and only partially reformed Nazis--and to evicted squatters and dispossessed miners. Much of this book appeared as columns in the Guardian, but they are more permanent than that might imply; an angry portrait of a Republic of the excluded. -- Roz Kaveney

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