Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Abolition of Britain: From Winston Churchill to Princess Diana” as Want to Read:
The Abolition of Britain: From Winston Churchill to Princess Diana
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Abolition of Britain: From Winston Churchill to Princess Diana

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  177 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
A surprise best seller in England, 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 at large. One English critic called The Abolition of Britain “an elegant jeremiad” in which Peter Hitchens identifies everything that has gone wrong with Brit ...more
Paperback, 330 pages
Published February 15th 2002 by Encounter Books (first published 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Abolition of Britain, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Abolition of Britain

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Heartbreaking, but always truthful. It has even further cemented my belief that ten to one, the older way of doing things is the better way, especially the older way of thinking.

I would add as a word of caution, the author discusses some mature theme and incidents, and as such I wouldn't recommend the book to anyone under eighteen years of age. I believe that for the book to be accurate and truthful, these subjects had to be touched upon and discussed, and therefore I can understand why they we
May 30, 2014 Steven rated it really liked it
This was a very informative piece of "Social Criticism." The book is well-written and an interesting, fast-paced read. Hitchens makes a thorough review of English history during the latter-half of the 20th century and examines changes along the way that he argues have turned England into another nation altogether.

As an American, I was most interested in his description of the England that WAS. The England of today, however, is compelling as well, being a likely portrait of the America of tomorr
Sep 29, 2012 Terence rated it it was ok
This is a totally mad book, but worth reading for all that. Hitchens has such a nostalgic view of the past that he thinks everything from sweets to the death penalty were better in the old days, which for him starts around 1965. Nonetheless, he does make you think. I still find that I disagree with him about the death penalty. He believes that jurors, judges and politicians are compelled to take things more seriously when they are faced with the life-or-death decision of the death penalty; but b ...more
Jun 19, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Hitchens has the pulse on Modern Britain. From the change of England's governance to the adoption of Estuary English, from the sharp decline of education to the downfall of the Christian family and the demise of morality, Peter doesn't spare any arrows.
"Abolition" attacks the ruined nation Britain has become and pinpoints the reasons for its doom. Peter has an uncanny understanding of Historic Britain: the empire with a legendary Christian past. He educates and warns those who desire to understa
Jul 27, 2014 Maklish rated it really liked it
I'm about as far to the Left as one can get without being a hippie but I have to admit I enjoyed this book immensely and - shock, horror! - even found myself agreeing with some of Hitchens's points.

The major negative side to this book is that Hitchens allows the fist-shaking Grumpy Old Todger in him to come out far too often, with much of the book seeming to claim that things were better in the old days 'just because.' However, on the occasions when Hitchens's logic wins through, his argumentati
Karen L.
Sep 21, 2010 Karen L. rated it it was amazing
Well, My husband was reading this and it looked so interesting that I read it. Towards the end I ended up skimming or speed reading it because of the pending due date and my growing library fines. I really liked it. I kept wanting to go pentecostal and shout ,"Amen," after much of it. I don't have the book on hand to quote Hitchens, which I would like to do. However I do remember what struck me.I was intrigued by his contrast of the somber funeral of Winston Churchill as opposed to the very emot ...more
Jul 12, 2014 William rated it really liked it
Peter Hitchens, brother of the late Christopher Hitchens, wrote this work on what he saw as the decline of British culture. Hitchens considers the great issue of our times is not so much the political and economic changes as it is the loss of what it means to be "British." Hitchens attributes this decline to the usual suspects: decline of religion and morality, loss of British historical knowledge, mostly attributed to the banal education foisted upon the people by elites. Surprisingly for a con ...more
Sep 01, 2010 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This is a book geared more toward Britons, but very relevant for the American reader. Hitchens is concerned with the cultural decay in Britain, and which is well underway in America, and its consequences on British sovereignty and the moral state of its people.

The book is full of wisdom and tradition though I'm inclined to think that Hitchens is too soft on Britain's role in WWI & WWII, which leads to several seemingly wrong conclusions. But otherwise an excellent book.
Chris Amies
Christopher Hitchens's right-wing brother does make some reasonable points about the loss of cultural identity and the soul-selling of New Labour in this book, but the whole of it is a rant against secularism, abortion, modern education and in favour of the death penalty and a return to a time when everyone knew their place.
General Ripper
Jul 30, 2016 General Ripper rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book, the first and only book I've read that describes the decline in British society that I've felt going on all my life (I'm now 42), and not only that, clearly identifies causes of that decline. Ultimately, the author traces the decline as starting from World War I and the damage done to the reputation of the church and Christianity, due to its support for what was a bloody and brutal slaughter of millions of people, which robbed Britain of a generation of both leaders of ...more
Dec 30, 2015 Tom rated it really liked it
Peter Hitchens, brother of the late Christopher, devout Anglican and fire-and-brimstone conservative, dishes out a biting critique of British culture in the post-war era. In the book, he tackles everything from sitcoms, to Ulster unionism, to the death penalty, to Tony Blair's then-growing executive power to farming. All in all a very provocative read tbh.
Frank Roberts
Jun 14, 2012 Frank Roberts rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
An eulogy for the Britain that was, and a warning to America, which is suffering from the same ailments. Saddened me to read it, but also bracingly refreshing to hear plain truths.
Hubby/ Cullin
Apr 10, 2009 Hubby/ Cullin rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those concerned with the world
Hitchens has delightful insight into the sate of things in britain and a mournful loss of that heritage that people around the world connect with.
Sep 10, 2011 Peter rated it really liked it
Peter has an ability to stand back from the media hype and frenzy and observe the moral and behaoural decline of a once Great Britain. An interesting read.
Carleton Raisbeck
Carleton Raisbeck rated it really liked it
May 27, 2016
Ann rated it did not like it
Dec 14, 2015
Jared rated it really liked it
Nov 08, 2016
Alvin rated it really liked it
Sep 18, 2015
John rated it it was amazing
Jul 02, 2016
John Tarttelin
John Tarttelin rated it really liked it
Sep 01, 2015
Redwood3 rated it really liked it
Oct 26, 2015
Tom Rhys
Tom Rhys rated it it was amazing
Oct 18, 2014
Darren rated it really liked it
May 08, 2016
Darren rated it liked it
May 07, 2016
Michiel rated it did not like it
Dec 17, 2014
INK rated it really liked it
Mar 08, 2014
PD rated it really liked it
Sep 18, 2016
Zachary rated it it was amazing
Mar 14, 2016
Holley Peterson
Holley Peterson rated it liked it
Oct 09, 2014
Alex rated it really liked it
Aug 28, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: The Great Speeches
  • Not with a Bang But a Whimper: The Politics and Culture of Decline
  • The English Constitution
  • Reflections on a Ravaged Century
  • Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology, and Greed Are Tearing America Apart
  • Uncrowned King: The Life of Prince Albert
  • The Strange Death of Liberal England
  • Meaning Of Conservatism
  • Kindergarden of Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks
  • American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy
  • The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy
  • Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
  • The Feminization of American Culture
  • America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It
  • The Path To Power
Peter Jonathan Hitchens is a British journalist, author and broadcaster. He was educated at The Leys School Cambridge, Oxford College of Further Education and the University of York.
More about Peter Hitchens...

Share This Book

“We welcome into our homes the machines that vacuum the thoughts out of our heads and pump in someone else's. John Berger in Ways of Seeing said that television advertisers succeeded by persuading viewers to envy themselves as they would be if they bought the product. These programmes do something similar, by persuading the viewer to envy himself as he would be if his life were that little bit more exciting and melodramatic than it actually is. They can make things seem normal that are not.” 2 likes
“the balance of power between the sexes had been destabilized, and relations between mothers and their children transformed from a natural and accepted one to a mere option.” 1 likes
More quotes…