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How Britain Really Works


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About the Author

Stig Abell is the editor and publisher of the Times Literary Supplement, which he thinks is the most important literary publication in the world.

He presented a weekly radio programme on LBC for three years, in which he talked about political and social issues with anybody who called in, and appears as a commentator on Sky News and the BBC. He has written for almost every newspaper in Britain, and one or two in America. He now presents Front Row on Radio 4.

Previously, he had been the Director of the Press Complaints Commission and the Managing Editor of Britain's biggest newspaper (the Sun). He also worked in crisis communications, although not for very long. How Britain Really Works is his first book.


Absorbing . . . an intelligent and clear-eyed account of much that goes on in our country * Sunday Times *
Wry and readable . . . a smart execution of an idea that is more important than it sounds - in a world convulsed by polarising ideologies and white-hot feelings, there is a lot to be said for writing that is cool and fact-based * Guardian *
Stig Abell is an urbane, and often jaunty guide to modern Britain, in the mould of Bill Bryson . . . he provides thoughtful explorations of each subject throughout * Irish Times *
Vivid, funny, and full of interesting glimpses of the way Britain works, viewed from angles I hadn't seen before * Philip Pullman *
If you fear Britain's going slightly Brexit bonkers, then this will explain why. An excellent, incisive and witty analysis of how this country works, or as so often . . . doesn't! * Piers Morgan *
A fascinating piece of ultra recent history. How we got to where we are, and why. Confused about modern Britain? Read this book * Dan Snow *
An engaging, entertaining and sometimes eyebrow-raising read * Jack Monroe *
This book brilliants unpicks our strange little island, and shows us where we find ourselves in the modern world * Dermot O'Leary *
Simply, I have never read a better book about Britain. This is a proper and touching examination of the mad little island that I'm so fond of. Everyone should read it, whether they think they already know about our country, or not * Xand Van Tulleken *
Entertaining, enlightening and often rather scary . . . * Adam Kay *

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