Blood Class and Nostalgia Anglo American Ironies PDF/EPUB


Blood Class and Nostalgia Anglo American Ironies Since the end of the Cold War so called experts have been predicting the eclipse of America's special relationship with Britain But as events have shown especially in the wake of 911 the political and cultural ties between America and Britain have grown stronger Blood Class and Empire examines the dynamics of this relationship its many cultural manifestations the James Bond series PBS brit Kitsch Rudyard Kipling and explains why it still persists Contrarian essayist and polemicist Christopher Hitchens notes that while the relationship is usually presented as a matter of tradition manners and common culture sanctified by wartime alliance the special ingredient is empire; transmitted from an ancien regime that has tried to preserve and renew itself thereby England has attempted to play Greece to the American Rome but ironically having encouraged the United States to become an eual partner in the business of empire Britain found itself supplanted


10 thoughts on “Blood Class and Nostalgia Anglo American Ironies

  1. Ana Ana says:

    This 1990 study of the special relationship between America and Britain has been everything I wanted it to be long detailed personalized and written with the impossible wit and sharpness of Hitchens' mind The discussion surrounding politics and policies and trades between the two countries is heavily researched so much so that the author brings in clippings and fragments of letters and essays or books of well known or not so well known public figures and proves points through their medium A very interesting chapter concerns itself with the correspondence between Churchill and Roosevelt Another one touches on the use of intelligence by or between the two powers The 20th century is covered in depth I would recommend this to anyone with a keen interest in history specifically political and social history as you can find a lot of fascinating information in this work


  2. Betsy Betsy says:

    Finished My gosh this was crunchy Hitchens covers the entire history from the founding of the United States through 1990 and of the United Kingdom during that time span and assumes a certain amount of knowledge on the part of the reader Which was very nice and not at all condescending and I've realized without much surprise I have some massive holes in my knowledge of both histories That said despite my moments of confusion I found this a fascinating read For one Hitchens has a very good way with words For example speaking of Britain training the US into the world of international espionage It is beyond a doubt that wherever the United States needed to lose any kind of virginity in global affairs the British were on hand with unguents and aphrodisiacs of all kinds p330 Such moments of amusement kept me reading even while I skirted dangerously close to being hopelessly lostFor another this is a completely different way of looking at the way the US was shaped and the very real though often with instinct than malice hand Britain had in it And in turn with both the instinct and the malice the way the US shaped Britain At times I was outraged by Britain's behavior at times I was outraged at the US's behavior So I suspect Hitchens gave a fair read of the two countriesI also learned some fascinating little facts For a brief while there the Founding Fathers leaned towards conducting government business in a language not English Washington favored Hebrew Both Rudyard Kipling and Winston Churchill adored Mark Twain and both had a chance to chat with the man and he with his usual wit deflated both of them Churchill wrote almost fanboyishly about it which was kind of adorable He was pretty young at the timeIn the end I'm glad I read it though I'm even pleased with finishing it If you're at all a history nerd I think you'll get a kick out of the way Hitchens pulls various histories together to argue his theme A theme I think is best summed up by Mark Twain as told by Churchill After some exchanges I found myself beaten back to the citadel My country right or wrong Ah said the old gentleman When the poor country is fighting for its life I agree But this was not your case pps 187 8


  3. Colin Colin says:

    This is my third Hitchens this year two Peters and a Christopher As ever it's sharp funny deep and surprising I'd honestly never thought about the special relationship in these terms before but the perspective really shifted my understanding of history especially since the war Of course in these days of brexit and the forces of gravity pulling us into Trump's orbit its would have been interesting to have his take on how Britain's role in the EU had changed the dynamic but its not really up to date enough to furnish an answer to that uestion anyway Still though this is as lively and as thought provoking as anything else you're likely to read on the subject


  4. Andrew Robins Andrew Robins says:

    Interesting read despite having been written almost a uarter of a century ago The story of British American relations and the special relationship which turns out not to be that special after all unsurprisinglyI read a review of this book on here which said that Hitchens makes the mistake of thinking the reader is as clever as he is In my case that definitely wasn't the case and I found myself scratching my head at some of the names and events he mentioned in passing but even so this didn't disturb my enjoyment of the bookThe world is a poorer place without the likes of Hitchens


  5. Tripp Tripp says:

    While not as provocative as some of his writing I suspect this one will get some people's goat In it he argues that the US British relationship is far shabbier than we thought On the one hand the American upper class and its adherents see British class structures and Imperial grandeur as justification and guidance for their own attempts to create a New Rome On the other the British leadership sees the relationship as one that allows them to maintain a sense of undeserved greatness all while being unduly servile Plenty of wit and good writing highly recommended


  6. Danial Tanvir Danial Tanvir says:

    i am a big christopher hitchens fan but i am very sorry to say that this book was just terribleit was a very hard read infact and i still was able to read it twiceit is one of the most hardest and difficult book i have readit is about politicsit is about the relationship of great britain and americait is about the anglo american relationshipit talks about winston churchill and rooseveltit was long and boring i dont know what else to say


  7. Jean Jean says:

    Reading a presumably earlier version called Blood Class Nostalgia Hitchens is a little impressed with his own vocabulary prowess has some axes to grind and states opinions or at least undocumented facts as facts The book is also rather dated It's dealing with history but was written in the 1980's and seems to have been inspired at least in part by the Princess Di cult in the US and the relationship between Thatcher and Reagan Not a fun read but it was thought provoking and a good reminder that the U S is an imperial power whether it uses that word or not


  8. Chris Hall Chris Hall says:

    It's a bit difficult to know how to rate this Although it's well written and reasonably readable it wasn't what I expected I expected a much broader approach to the subject it's essentially a book of modern political history rather than an analysis of the current situation I would have liked of a focus on the cultural rather than the political relationship between the two countriesI also found the style of writing very dry previously I've always found Hitchens able to liven up otherwise dull subjects but he doesn't really pull that off hereMaybe I just had the wrong expectations It seemed odd that Hitchens suddenly decides to start discussing literature in the conclusion to the book surely this warranted coverage in the body of the book ?


  9. Chad Montabon Chad Montabon says:

    Hitch at his best skewering sacred cows with precise abandon


  10. Todd Stockslager Todd Stockslager says:

    Review title The relative viscosity of blood and waterHitchens is a well known pundit and paradox a serious thinker who inhabits the entertainment world of American cable news channels who makes serious points with acerbic wit and erudite language it is not many writers who use words that make me scramble as often to google the nuances of the meaning And he is unmistakably British in character looks and voice Perhaps then he is not such a paradox at allBlood is a serious look at the special relationship between the United States and England United by reason of language culture and some elements of ethnic solidarity separated at birth by politics geography and some elements of ethnic incompatibility the two countries are bound by this relationship always in uotes Hitchen's defines it in brief but well toward the end of his explication of it in detail as an uncheckable untestable charter for the freedom of action of an unelected class p 318 Along the axis of that charter the fates of both countries have risen fallen and changed course sometimes in tandem sometimes in inverse but always in relation to one anotherHitchens tells the story of this evolving relationship as only he can with sharp examples and pointed language tracing its history in literature culture politics and history The centerpiece is a serious of chapters on Churchill's contribution to the relationship over the many decades where he was at the epicenter of it and attempting to mold it to his specific expectations of what it should be and should become Hitchen's chapter headings suggest that Churchill's worship defeat and revenge have had a huge impact on the special relationship and the world it has attempted to mold and survive in since his passing I was surprised to learn for example that as the partners considered the makeup of the post war world in 1944 Churchill proposed joint Anglo American citizenship and concurrency That this proposal never came to fruition and that England later and much belatedly threw in its lot with the European Union says much about the strength and continually evolving status of the special relationshipWhile Hitchen's book is now two decades old its insights still sparkle and are still relevant Even his brief bibliography and source notes for each chapter is a delightful and polemical mix of primary and secondary sources Don't expect value free analysis here but do expect source that prove his point in spades His point is most tellingly made about the periodic near constant strain of the special relationship and the now long standing reversal of the relative position of the parties to it For example less than 100 years after building the Alabama to sink dozens of Union American ships Hitchens uotes Churchill begging the US to give us a fair and just assignment of your new vast construction to sail under our own flag p 216 And this isn't just ancient history British defense of imperialism to spread democracy echos the current American efforts to spread democracy around the globe As Hitchen's notes p 224 It appears that the imperial motives of others are always easier to discern It is a warning America still and especially needs to note today


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