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A fierce, mordantly funny and perceptive book, from the author of Ship of Fools, about the act of national self-harm known as Brexit.
In exploring the answers to the question 'why did Britain vote leave?', Fintan O'Toole finds himself discovering how trivial journalistic lies became far from trivial national obsessions; how the pose of indifference to truth and historical fact has come to define the style of an entire political elite; how a country that once had colonies is redefining itself as an oppressed nation requiring liberation; the strange gastronomic and political significance of prawn-flavoured crisps and their role in the rise of Boris Johnson; the dreams of revolutionary deregulation and privatisation that drive Arron Banks, Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees-Mogg; and the silent rise of English nationalism, the force that dare not speak its name.
"There will not be much political writing in this or any other year that is carried off with such style." (The Times)
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For those who cry out, "WHY?!"... here's a guide
All of England lays flat on the couch of a psychologist's office. The entire population stares at the ceiling quietly. Fintan O'Toole sits near with his notepad and asks, "Do you feel anger towards your mother?"
I've been a fan of Fintan's since Ship of Fools. England must have also read that book and created Brexit just to get his attention. I don't know if anyone can reach the deepest root of any nation's soul, but Mr. O'Toole digs d*mn far.
Before finishing the final chapter I went online and paid for full monthly access to the Irish Times newspaper (and Fintan's column). My review of Heroic Failure is 1 subscription out of 5 stars.
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