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Head of Zeus
How Britain Ends
How Britain Ends: English Nationalism and the Rebirth of Four Nations by Gavin Esler

'An eloquent, forensic examination of resurgent English nationalism as the force that has driven Brexit and may now break up the United Kingdom' Jonathan Coe

'A fascinating book that draws on poetry, literature and on-the-ground reporting' The Times

'A wonderful book which will be quoted in years to come' New European

In the past, it was possible to live with delightful confusion: one could be English or British, Scottish or Irish, and a citizen/subject of the United Kingdom (or Great Britain). Now this archaic state is coming under terrible strain. The English revolt against Europe is also a revolt against the Scottish and Irish, and the pressures to declare Scottish independence and to push for a border poll that would unite Ireland may become irresistible.

Can England and Wales find a way of dealing with the state's new place in the world? What constitutional, federal arrangements might prevent the disintegration of the British state?

How Britain Ends is a book about history, but also about the strange, complicated identity of Britishness.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Current Affairs
04 Feb 2021 * 320pp * £4.99 * 9781800241077
REVIEWS
'A wonderful book which will be quoted in years to come'
New European
'Packed with broad cultural and literary insight to go with hard-nosed political evaluation'
GQ
'A fascinating book that draws on poetry, literature and on-the-ground reporting'
The Times
'A cool-headed contribution to this often emotional debate'
Sunday Business Post
'An eloquent, forensic examination of resurgent English nationalism as the force that has driven Brexit and may now break up the United Kingdom'
Jonathan Coe
'In the coming years, many people will be writing about the end of the UK. They'll all quote this wonderful and curiously moving book. I know I will'
James Hawes, author of The Shortest History of England
'A former BBC journalist, [Esler] has travelled round the UK as intensively as anyone, and he is deeply worried about what he sees as the collapse of the British idea and the emergence of English nationalism. As Esler sees it, the unruly, destructive force of English nationalism now threatens to break the United Kingdom, heralding, as his subtitle has it, the 'rebirth of four nations' ... The present government has no zest for genuine reinvention, because it refuses to recognise that there is anything much to worry about. And as Esler insists, recognition is the necessary first step to reform'
Ferdinand Mount, Financial Times
'Gavin Esler takes a sober, measured look at the forces threatening to tear apart the four nations'
Choice Magazine
'Both timely and provocative'
Sunday Times
'His book is intelligent, interesting ... This is a good book and a valuable one'
Scotsman
'A consistently thought-provoking and well-argued book, and yet the more I read it, the more I wondered about English nationalism'
Books from Scotland
'Timely and incisive ... Gavin Esler dispels the myth that delivering a Brexit deal, or no deal, would being an 'end' to Brexit'
Francis Grove White, People's Vote Campaign
'Everything a good Remainer needs to persuade the Brexiters, punchy, pithy and short'
Polly Toynbee
'If you want a pithy, sober, clear-headed summary of what Brexit is actually likely to look like, Gavin Esler's new book is spot on. Such a welcome antidote to all the whipped-up sentiment – calm, factual, rigorous'
Dr Rachel Clarke
'A brilliant demolition of the lies and liars that created the Brexit mess. Should be required reading at his old stamping ground, the BBC'
Alastair Campbell
'Witty, informed, smart – the best-written polemic I've read in some time'
Glasgow Herald
'An important book ... [Esler] writes a clear, stimulating description of our position following our departure from the European Union'
Kent Bylines
'Both timely and provocative'
Sunday Times
Author
Gavin Esler
Gavin Esler
Gavin Esler is a journalist, television presenter and author. He was a main presenter of the BBC current affairs show Newsnight for 12 years until 2014. Since 2014 he has been a public speaker, a political commentator and journalist, and the Chancellor of the University of Kent.
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