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The Abolition of Britain: From Winston Churchill to Princess Diana

Publisher: Encounter • 2002 • 330 pages

So says Peter Hitchens, who in the last three decades has seen the England of his youth vanish without a trace — only to be replaced by Tony Blair’s ‘Cool Britannia,’ an internationalist welfare state brimming with ignorance and contempt for the glories of British civilization. In “Abolition of Britain”, he details how it happened; in doing so, he reveals the Left’s full agenda for the United States.

Hitchens (the conservative brother of arch-leftist writer Christopher Hitchens) compares the funeral of Winston Churchill in 1965 to that of Princess Diana in 1997 to show that a cultural revolution has taken place in Britain — a revolution that went largely unnoticed (since it unfolded in slow motion), but which was more destructive of the national way of life than anything that happened in Mao’s China. In a chapter full of telling and unusual insights, he imagines what a young woman from 1997 might experience if she were suddenly transported back to Churchill’s funeral. She’d find a poorer, dirtier place, Hitchens admits forthrightly, but one with a social cohesion and proud common culture that the intervening thirty years have almost completely obliterated.

Nothing that has happened in that fateful thirty-year span escapes Hitchens’ notice. With a tone by turns elegiac and scathing, plus a keen ability to see through the new establishment’s deceptions, he discusses the Left’s triumph over British culture in terms that will be uncomfortably familiar to American conservatives. He details how the patrimony of British civilization and even the simplest acts of patriotism have been held up as objects of ridicule for so long that now virtually everyone assumes that they are in fact ridiculous. Naming names and calling a spade a spade, he explains how self-denigration and self-doubt completely supplanted national pride, and how homosexualists and feminists overturned venerable societal arrangements before most conservatives even realized what was happening.

It’s sobering reading, but the fact that this book was written at all (and the uproar it has already caused) is a sign of hope that all is not lost. Hitchens gives you a clearer idea of the Left’s international plans, so that you can be better equipped to combat them here at home.

  • Peter Hitchens’ England: a mirror-image of contemporary America
  • Why the Left always gets the traditional family squarely in its sights — and two early signs of the assault on the family in Britain
  • How Margaret Thatcher’s great successes distracted attention from her deeper failures to turn back the tide of internationalism and the cancerous growth of the public sector
  • History: why the British Left went after Britain’s glorious past with particular ferocity
  • Kindness, tolerance, and generosity: how and why these became some of British leftists’ most potent weapons of deception
  • How, under the guise of combating racism, British thought police banished national pride from textbooks
  • Television: solid reasons why it is an out-and-out enemy of civilization, even at its best
  • The Church: how a venerable and reverent tradition was thrown out in the guise of a stealthy reform that nobody thought was needed
  • How the great British writers became anathema to British teachers and schoolchildren
  • Satirical plays and TV shows: their often overlooked role in overthrowing a civilization — and why the authorities were powerless to stop the mockery before it was too late
  • How America unwittingly played a part in the decline of traditional values in Britain
  • Seeds of destruction: how they were actually sown in Britain even before World War II
  • Why, instead of debating conservative opponents, liberals habitually mock and sneer at their positions

“Reading this honest and indignant account, I could not repress a twinge of fraternal solidarity.” — Christopher Hitchens

“A cri de coeur from an honest, intelligent and patriotic Englishman, desperately worried about the corruption of his country.” — The Spectator

“A stunning elegy for the England that the Left destroyed.” — David Horowitz

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