Acts of Union and Disunion (Paperback)
  • Acts of Union and Disunion (Paperback)
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Acts of Union and Disunion (Paperback)

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£8.99
Paperback 192 Pages / Published: 02/01/2014
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The United Kingdom; Great Britain; the British Isles; the Home Nations: such a wealth of different names implies uncertainty and contention - and an ability to invent and adjust. In a year that sees a Scottish referendum on independence, Linda Colley analyses some of the forces that have unified Britain in the past. She examines the mythology of Britishness, and how far - and why - it has faded. She discusses the Acts of Union with Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and their limitations, while scrutinizing England's own fractures. And she demonstrates how the UK has been shaped by movement: of British people to other countries and continents, and of people, ideas and influences arriving from elsewhere. As acts of union and disunion again become increasingly relevant to our daily lives and politics, Colley considers how - if at all - the pieces might be put together anew, and what this might mean. Based on a 15-part BBC Radio 4 series.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781781251850
Number of pages: 192
Weight: 185 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 15 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS
Praise for Linda Colley and for Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837: 'A completely original intelligence -- Roy Foster * Financial Times *
The most dazzling and comprehensive study of a national identity yet to appear. * Scotsman *
Magnificent ... a brilliant account * Western Mail *
A book written with such gusto and verve that even a non-academic reader drives through its pages with ease * Independent *
In this brilliant book ... Dr. Colley tells this story with scholarly punctilio, yet also with the brio of an historian who has something serious to say * Guardian *
Its real strength is its ability to make those interested in the politics of the coming year think afresh about the independence debate and what it is actually all about. -- Magnus Gardham * The Herald *
What has held the nations of the United Kingdom together for so long-and what is now pulling them apart-is the subject of Linda Colley's short and fascinating study, * The Economist *
The prestigious scholar eschews academic opacity, has flair, an instinct for engagement, a lucidly democratic style. She can reach that autodidact ex-miner, slothful student, amateur genealogist, louche Chelsea girl, loyal citizen, flippant politician and know-it-all journalist and get them to look through different windows to the past... This isn't just a smart little digest. The sharp essays snip at and cut through unreconstructed patriotisms and political manipulations... This is a lively and urgent little tract. Drawing on art, literature, facts, landscapes and political dramas, it reveals the false unities and real disunities of the UK, past and present.' -- Yasmin Albhai-Brown * The Independent *
What we need from historians is an ability to contextualise the debate, and in those terms, her book is a valuably pithy contribution. -- David Robinson * Scotland on Sunday *
Linda Colley is such a good writer I'd buy her shopping lists if anyone published them. -- Nick Cohen * The Observer *
There is much food for thought in this little book, and numerous unexpected and illuminating pieces of information, much that cannot be dealt with in a brief review. Anyone interested in the background to today's most pressing political arguments will find much of interest, and much to provoke thought and stimulate argument. Colley has offered a brief and very useful contribution to our British-Scottish, English, Welsh, Northern Irish and European debates; and she has done so in a commendably calm and reasonable tone of voice. -- Allan Massie * The Scotsman *
A timely book. -- Alex Massie * Daily Telegraph *
A bald and bold, usefully succinct review of 400 years of the legislative acts, historical events and politics that predate but underpin the current state of the United Kingdom. -- Iain Finlayson * The Times *
This enjoyable and readable book * Times Higher Education *
For a current take on that curious country that once ruled Hong Kong, and vast tracts of the world, Acts of Union and Disunion provides compelling reading by an engaging voice on what it means to be British, and the complexities of a nation that, in the 21st century, is populated by subjects rather than citizens. * South China Morning Post *

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