Cover image for The abolition of Britain : from Winston Churchill to Princess Diana
The abolition of Britain : from Winston Churchill to Princess Diana
Hitchens, Peter, 1951-
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Encounter Books, 2000.
Physical Description:
xi, 332 pages ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1410 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DA566.4 .H5 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Prominent English social critic Peter Hitchens writes of the period between the death of Winston Churchill and the funeral of Princess Diana, a time he believes has seen disasterous changes in English life. The Abolition of Britain is bitingly witty and fiercely argued, yet also filled with somber appreciation for what the idea of England has always meant to the West and to the world.

Author Notes

Peter Hitchens is one of Britain's most controversial journalists. (Prime Minister Tony Blair told him to "sit down and stop being bad" after a bruising encounter at a press conference.) He covered the fall of communism from Moscow and East Germany, and was the London Daily Express correspondent in Washington. He lives with his wife and children in Oxford

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Published in Britain with the subtitle "Lady Chatterley to Tony Blair," this book could also be titled "John Bull Rages Against the Machine." Journalist Hitchens (Daily Express) begins with an essay comparing British behavior during the funerals of Winston Churchill and Princess Diana. He mourns the Britain last seen at Churchill's burial and decries the outpouring of emotion in the latter event, in which Britain, "world capital of reserve," lost its cool. The author then expands in all directions, employing racism and pretty much every other ism in arguing that the Empire, its colonies, and its culture were a better world for all concerned. Among his broadsides: corporal punishment, the Church of England, the Conservative Party, and the Empire were the bulwarks of British and, by extension, Western civilization. Though he covers much ground, his thesis is that the "cultural revolution" in Britain, i.e., multiculturalism, abetted by television (especially the shows Beyond the Fringe and Monty Python), have ruined the family and everything else good and decent. At times a spark of objectivity flares, and the text generally shows Hitchens to be a well-read journalist, but the tone consistently slips from bitter to rude. Hitchens writes proudly about the obstacles he surmounted getting this book published. Sadly, he succeeded.√ĄRobert Moore, Raytheon, Sudbury, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Editionp. vii
Introduction: A Modern Manp. 1
1 The Warrior and the Victimp. 17
2 Born Yesterdayp. 44
3 Class Warp. 64
4 The Pink Bitsp. 84
5 Hell Freezes Overp. 105
6 The Telescreen Triumphsp. 128
7 Forty Years Onp. 144
8 A Real Bastardp. 162
9 The Queen's Englishp. 177
10 Difficulties with Girlsp. 190
11 Last Exit to Decencyp. 207
12 Suburbs of the Mindp. 221
13 The Pill That Cured Moralityp. 232
14 Health Warningp. 248
15 Is Britain Civilized?p. 263
16 Year Zerop. 273
Conclusion: Chainsaw Massacrep. 289
Notesp. 319
Acknowledgementsp. 327
Works Citedp. 329