Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging [Kindle ed.]

The Sunday Times bestseller that reveals the uncomfortable truth about race and identity in Britain today You’re Britis

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English Pages 367 Year 2018

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Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging [Kindle ed.]

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Review
"Brit(ish) is a wonderful, important, courageous book, and it could not be more timely: a vital and necessary point of reference for our troubled age in a country that seems to have lost its bearings. It’s about identity and belonging in 21st-century Britain: intimate and troubling; forensic but warm, funny and wise." (Philippe Sands)

"Brit(ish) brings together a thoughtful, intelligent, accessible, informative investigation on Britain as a nation not only in the midst of an identity crisis but in denial of what it has been and still is." (Dolly Alderton)

"Highly personal and yet instantly universal, this is a book that millions will instantly relate to. Hirsch places her own lifelong search for identity and a sense of Britishness against the backdrop of our national identity crisis. Part historical exploration, part journalistic expose of racism and class disadvantage in modern Britain, this is a book searching for answers to some very big questions. Delving behind words like 'prejudice', 'disadvantage', 'structural-racism' Hirsch unpacks the real world impact of these forces and on the lives of real people. Written with passion not anger, insight rather than resentment, on the issues of race, identity and the multiple meanings of Britishness this is the book for our divided and dangerous times." (David Olusoga)

"Memoir, social analysis and an incisively argued challenge to unconscious biases: this is a truly stunning book on racial identity by a remarkable woman." (Helena Kennedy)

"[A] bracing and brilliant exploration of national identity … Through her often intensely personal investigations, she exposes the everyday racism that plagues British society, caused by our awkward, troubled relationship to our history, arguing that liberal attempts to be colour-blind have caused more problems than they have solved. A book everyone should read: especially comfy, white, middle-class liberals." (Caroline Sanderson The Bookseller, Editor's Choice)

"This is less a polemic about the past than an attempt to illuminate the problems of the present. Hirsch is exacting in her observations of how this history manifests itself today... This is a fierce, thought-provoking and fervent take on the most urgent questions facing us today." (Diana Evans Financial Times)

"A warm, informative and occasionally heart-wrenching blend of the personal and the political, and the messiness in between the two... She asks some uncomfortable questions, challenging us as individuals, the government, institutions and society at large, to think carefully about what constitutes Britishness and how it can be a term that embraces communities of colour in the UK... Hirsch’s book is more than a countrywide conversation-starter, though: it’s a deeply personal look at who she always knew she was, but didn’t feel ready to say yet." (Nikesh Shukla Observer)

"Skilfully blending memoir, history and social commentary around race, culture and identity. Hirsch writes with an incisive honesty that disproves the idea that privilege can be easily reduced to racial binaries... Hirsch shows us that the issues are complicated, that blackness is no more homogeneous than whiteness, and that we do need to talk about it if anything is to change." (Bernardine Evaristo Times Literary Supplement)

"A dazzling book of stories ... Brit(ish) is, despite everything, a hopeful book ... It is impossible to do justice to the scope of this book ... The book teems with fascinating and uplifting as well as tragic stories ... This is writing that really shines." (Martina Evans Irish Times)

"Brit(ish) is the work of a confident social guide ... The power of her writing matches that of other important black writers, among them [Paul] Gilroy and, going back two centuries, the American abolitionist John Brown Russwurm." (Colin Grant Guardian)

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