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The English [Format Kindle]

Jeremy Paxman

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What is it about the English? Not the British overall, not the Scots, not the Irish or Welsh, but the English. Why do they seem so unsure of who they are? As Jeremy Paxman remarks in his preface to The English, being English "used to be so easy". Now, with the Empire gone, with Wales and Scotland moving into more independent postures, with the troubling spectre of a united Europe(and despite the raucous hype of "Cool Britannia"), the English seem to have entered a collective crisis of national identity.

Jeremy Paxman has set himself the task of finding just what exactly is going on. Why, he wonders, "do the English seem to enjoy feeling so persecuted? What is behind the English obsession with games? How did they acquire their odd attitudes to sex and food? Where did they get their extraordinary capacity for hypocrisy?" He ranges widely in pursuit of answers, sifting through literature, cinema and history. It is an intriguing investigation, encompassing many aspects of national life and character (such as it is), including the obligatory visit to that baffling phenomenon, the funeral of Princess Diana. Yet Paxman finds something fresh and interesting to say about even that now rather threadbare topic. In the end, he seems to find further questions to ask instead of answers. But why not? To him it is a sign that the English are acquiring a new sense of self. And some indication of this might lie in the obvious response to his remark that the English, being top of the British Imperial tree, had nicknames for the fellow nationalities--Jock, Taffy, Paddy and Mick--but there was no corresponding name for an Englishman. Of course, there is now, and it comes from one of the bits of empire to which so many undesirables were exported: Whinging Pom. --Robin Davidson

Revue de presse

Intelligent, well-written, informative and funny.A book to chew on, dip into, quote from and exploit in arguments (Andrew Marr Observer)

Bursting with good things (Daily Telegraph)

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 625 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 330 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1585670421
  • Editeur : Penguin (6 septembre 2007)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B003P9XCH6
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°124.494 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Commentaires en ligne

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 étoiles sur 5  35 commentaires
25 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 From an Englishman 25 avril 2001
Par Chris Whyte - Publié sur Amazon.com
Unlike the other reviewers listed here I have the benefit and handicap of being an Englishman. I was greatly disappointed that one of Britains finest political interviewers whose pursuit of weasel worded politicians is remorseless, has produced such a lazy book. I had little recognition of the English portrayed, he has just peddled tired cliches that were not true even a decade ago. He only merits one star for pointing out the difference between English and British, something many English do not recognise. To all those who loved this book I would say that the English are for more complex and interesting than Paxman portrays us.
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Green and Pleasant Land? 19 février 2001
Par John D. Cofield - Publié sur Amazon.com
Jeremy Paxman has written an entertaining and affectionate look at the English people. Wisely, he goes to some lengths to explain that English and British are not synonymous, though many foreigners assume that they are. Overall, his view of the English is kindly, but he does not hesitate to skewer a few pretensions. For example, he points out that the boorish behavior of some English soccer fans is not an aberration, but a throwback to pre-Victorian violence and drunkenness. Nevertheless Paxman spends much time on the inner strengths of the English,such as their capacity to pull together and survive horrendous difficulties like the Blitz. All in all inveterate Anglophiles will find much to enjoy and much to ponder in this work.
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Not bad for "The British Peter Jennings" 18 septembre 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
The author is part-Scottish and hosts a TV news show of some sort in Britain. Knowing American newscasters, I had low expectations going into this book -- I expected an earnest, babbling celebrity quickie. Surprisingly, this book is a very literate historical overview of the nature of Englishness. Paxman does a good job of quoting authors and journalists from each era he covers. As a result, you get a good sense of how the Englishmen of each era regarded themselves.
The book goes off the rails a bit near the end, when Paxman stops quoting the historical record and starts extending his own opinions about what the English need. This shift from history to cultural criticism is disconcerting -- it's like the first 4/5 of the book comes from "The Making of the Atomic Bomb", and the last fifth comes from "The Closing of the American Mind." [In genre, not in content, though Paxman does seem to have a slighly conservative streak.] I'm moving to London in about six weeks; once I'm over there we'll see how accurate Paxman's book is. It's a good read regardless.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 How to understand the English psyche 30 octobre 2003
Par Keith Appleyard - Publié sur Amazon.com
I'd never read anything by Paxman before, so like other reviewers, I wondered how academic this might be. In fact, contrary to the reviews on the flyleaf, I didn't find it as funny as they suggested it might be.
But I was not disappointed but delighted. I didn't want some flippant lightweight humourous prose, but I got a very well researched book with some funny bits.
I've recommended it to Americans who don't understand the English psyche.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Very entertaining and enlightening 6 juillet 2003
Par Expat Cat - Publié sur Amazon.com
As a US ex-pat who has lived in Britain for 11 years, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Yes, it is a highly personal and opinionated book, but who wants to read a list of statistics? Besides, it's what Mr Paxman does best. It shows another endearing characteristic of the English - the tendency to declaim on anything without worrying about whether they actually know much about it and often being very entertaining while doing it.
The book is chiding without being churlish, funny without being farcical, and at times downright affectionate. It does get slightly repetitive and rambling, but I highly recommend it. It is a great conversation starter and at times made me laugh out loud.
Oh - and also - the "curiously English geek quiz show, University Challenge" actually started in the US as College Bowl before coming to the UK. But it is indeed far more popular here than it was there. Does this say something else about the English perhaps?
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