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Private Island: Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else: Book by James Meek

Private Island: Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else

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ISBN: 9781784782061    Publisher: Verso Books Year of publishing: 2015     Format:  Paperback No of Pages: 8.99        Language: English
In a little over a generation the bones and sinews of the British economy - rail, energy, water, postal services, municipal housing - have been sold to remote, unaccountable private owners. In a series...Read more
In a little over a generation the bones and sinews of the British economy - rail, energy, water, postal services, municipal housing - have been sold to remote, unaccountable private owners. In a series of brilliant portraits James Meek shows how Britain's common wealth became private, and the impact it has had on us all. In a series of panoramic accounts, Meek explores the human stories behind the incremental privatization of the nation over the last three decades. As our national assets are being sold, the new buyers reap the rewards, and the ordinary consumer is left to pay the ever-rising bill. Urgent, powerfully written and deeply moving, Private Island is a passionate anatomy of the state of the nation for readers of Chavs and Whoops!
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About the author: James Meek
James Meek is a contributing editor of the London Review of Books. He is the author of six novels that have published in the UK, US, France and Germany,... Read more
James Meek is a contributing editor of the London Review of Books. He is the author of six novels that have published in the UK, US, France and Germany, including The People's Act of Love, that was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and won the Ondaatje Prize and Scottish Arts Council Award. We Are Now Beginning our Descent won the 2008 Le Prince Maurice Prize and The Heart Broke In was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa Prize. In 2004 he was named the Foreign Correspondent of the year by the British Press Awards and he contributes regularly to the Guardian, New York Times and International Herald Tribune. Website: www.jamesmeek.net
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Review:
WINNER OF THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR BOOKS 2015 "Do yourself a favour: read Private Island and find out what has really happened in Britain over the past 20 years." John Gray, Guardian "An energetic and...Read more
WINNER OF THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR BOOKS 2015 "Do yourself a favour: read Private Island and find out what has really happened in Britain over the past 20 years." John Gray, Guardian "An energetic and colourfully told polemic against privatisation." Financial Times "James Meek's superb book exposes the perversities, hypocrisies and failures of privatisation. Meek is a writer of fiction as well as a journalist, and it shows: he crafts beautiful and vivid passages that turn what could be a dry subject into a highly readable study." Owen Jones, New Stateman "James Meek's brilliant book, bracing in its detail and sweeping in its scope, makes clear just how central privatisation is to the story of contemporary Britain: some of it will make you sad, some of it will make you furious, but you are guaranteed to be left feeling that you understand this country much better." John Lanchester, author of Capital and Whoops! "[A] devastating account of the privatisation dogma of the past 25 years... As demolition jobs go, this can hardly be bettered." John Kampfner, Observer "One activity in which Britain leads the world is privatisation. From Thatcher to Cameron, prime minister after prime minister has flogged off our public assets at rock bottom prices to the private sector. The result has been massive returns for investors and middle men, poorer services for the public - and a downgrading of our entitlements as citizens. All this is detailed by James Meek in a book that stands as one of the most powerful critiques of the mess that is Britain's economy." Aditya Chakrabortty "If you have a taste for historical irony & absurdity, you'll love this book." Francis Wheen, Mail on Sunday "Entertaining, vastly intelligent." New Yorker "This is the definitive account of how so much has gone and continue to go wrong with Britain's institutions. Don't read it all at once - it's too depressing." Joan Bakewell, New Statesman (Books of the Year) "One of the country's finest writers." GQ Magazine "A Virtuoso [...] mixture of hard-won knowledge and literary flair." TLS "You don't have to be...excessively sentimental about the public service ethos to find the story Meek tells here genuinely shocking." Jonathan Derbyshire, Prospect
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