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Book Review: A Sorry State: Self-Denigration in British Culture, Edited by Peter Whittle

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Subtitled “Self-Denigration in British Culture” with a foreword by Michael Burleigh, A Sorry State is quite a depressing book. It details the self-hate that permeates through British society and culture in the 21st century.

This self-hate is having dire consequences on all aspects of British society and even the general public. Not that this sort of moral relativism is unique to the U.K.; U.S. culture suffers from it as well.

I would be amiss not to point out the bloggers who contributed to this book, including the (in)famous Emily NoMates of Guy TV (Guido Fawkes Blog) fame under her real name Juliet Samuel. Before becoming Guido gal about town, she went to Harvard University.

You may want to check out a piece by blogger Helen Szamuely, formerly of EU Referendum Blog and now with her own blog. There is a even a PR guy with his own blog, Paul Seaman, commenting on the poor state of his trade.

This is not a collection of elderly curmudgeon’s complaining about how it used to be wonderful in the old days ala “Grumpy Old Men.”

One piece bemoans the fact that classical music is no longer taught in schools, while another criticizes the de-emphasis and/or elimination of classic British texts. Those interested in business will be interested in the mea culpa business PR method that has failed so spectacularly for several major British firms.

The essays in A Sorry State are a tad dry and academic, but the book is still very readable. This thin volume contains some well thought-out essays on various aspects of current British culture. Its an interesting reminder, or glimpse for Americans, of that state the U.K. finds itself in at the moment.

Despite the slim volume there is enough to chew on to make it worthwhile. I suspect that members of the Anglosphere will find much in common here.

Book is available at Amazon.co.uk

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