Chums (Hardback)
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Chums (Hardback)

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£16.99
Hardback 240 Pages
Published: 28/04/2022

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Waterstones Says

Detailing the troubling amounts of political power wielded by a very small and privileged Oxford elite, Kuper's excellently researched and vividly written account is by turns shocking, illuminating and darkly funny.

Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, David Cameron, George Osborne, Theresa May, Dominic Cummings, Daniel Hannan, Jacob Rees-Mogg: Oxford has produced most of the prominent Conservative politicians of our time. The university newspapers of thirty years ago are full of recognisable names in news stories, photos of social events, and Bullingdon Club reports. Many walked straight out of the world of student debates onto the national stage. Unfortunately, they brought their university politics with them.

Eleven of the fifteen postwar British prime ministers went to Oxford. This narrowest of talent pools has shaped the modern country. In Chums, Simon Kuper traces how the rarefied and privileged atmosphere of Oxford University - and the friendships and worldviews it created - helped give us today's Britain, including Brexit.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781788167383
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 350 g
Dimensions: 220 x 142 x 28 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS

A searing onslaught on the smirking Oxford insinuation that politics is all just a game. It isn't. It matters - Matthew Parris

A gripping read ... exquisite and depressing in equal measure - Matthew Syed, Sunday Times

A sparkling firework of a book - Lynn Barber, Spectator

Incisive, insightful and timely - Richard Beard, New Statesman

Fascinating ... The picture Kuper draws is of a nation with a decadent and deeply unprofessional ruling class, a diagnosis with which it is impossible to disagree - Hugo Rifkind, The Times

Immensely entertaining ... a tremendous romp jam-packed with delicious indiscretions - Tim Luckhurst, Daily Mail

A brilliant book - John Harris, Guardian Weekly Politics podcast

A penetrating analysis of the connections that enabled an incestuous university network to dominate Westminster and give birth to Brexit ... perceptive and full of surprises - Tim Adams, Observer

Johnson, Cameron, Rees-Mogg, Gove and Cummings all feature in this look at the hidden depths of our current political establishment and its inextricable link to Eton and, in particular, Oxford University - 50 Best Books for Summer 2022, Sunday Times

Shows how the culture of Oxford decisively influenced the tone of British politics and led to Brexit. Brilliantly written, it gripped me - Paschal Donohoe, Irish Times

Kuper is alert to the deficiencies of the Oxford Union style, the tendency to substitute some glib debating point for hard-headed analysis ... Engagingly brief with delightful details - Andrew Gimson, Conservative Home

Intellectually bracing ... a deep dive into the culture of the upper-crust public schools and university that produced ten of the UK's 15 post-war prime ministers - Andrew Lynch, Business Post

Elegant, witty, economical ... it is absurd how much influence this tiny, moneyed circle has been able to wield, and deeply depressing - Zoe Williams, TLS

Chums is not just about the smallness of Britain's privileged elite or the early advantages it enjoys. Simon Kuper goes further ... to critique a system that attaches more importance to winning debates than shaping policy - Mike Phipps, Labour Hub

The best ever written dissection of the formation for what passes as the modern Tory Party's leadership - Philosophy Football

A snapshot of a time gone by, bringing alive 1980s Oxford in vivid detail ... a thrilling read - Daniel Dipper, Higher Education Policy Institute

Engaging and detailed ... [This] may be the last generation of such Oxford Tories, yet their policies may well influence the United Kingdom for generations - Andrew Moravcsik, Foreign Affairs

[A] highly entertaining, and often infuriating examination of the clique of Oxford Tories that gave us Brexit - Irish Times

Praise for The Happy Traitor: Kuper provides a different and valuable perspective, humane and informative - John Le Carré

Truly enthralling ... a deeply human read, wonderfully written, on the foibles of a fascinating, flawed, treacherous and sort of likeable character - Philippe Sands

The most comprehensive and insightful biography to date - Ben Macintyre

Readers who prefer their politics polemical (and Britain in Europe) need look no further than Simon Kuper - Times Best Political and Current Affairs Books of 2022

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“Why do we put them in power?”

An intriguing read written by someone who has been through the priveleged education system that is Eton and Oxford. It raises the question as to how we, time after time, put people who have been through this elitist... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 30

“It’s who you know”

Really interesting book written with an insiders knowledge but with an outsiders critical eye. It helps to explain (but never justify) how and why Britain is so divided.

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 27

“It’s who you know”

Really interesting book written with an insiders knowledge but with an outsiders critical eye. It helps to explain (but never justify) how and why Britain is so divided.

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 26

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