Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain
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...more
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The writer is, happily and necessarily, Irish.
Here you will find the disease known as ‘Brexit’ fully described and diagnosed. The prospect of a cure, however, remains contingent and – dare one say? – nebulous, having to do with the downfall of neo-liberalism. Wish us all luck with that one.
O’Toole doesn’t have much to say about Trump, but one ...more
Heroic Failure is no political commentary or analysis of Brexit, nor is it a chronological detailing of the events ...more
This long essa ...more
The book is good in its way but only plays to the remainer echo chamber and won't impact on the leaver viewpoint. Basically the country is fairly evenly split between the two viewpoints and from my point of view not even basic logic gets through to the adamant leaver ...more
Repetitive at times, and some parts resonate m ...more
In some ways it’s a game of two halves, as I found the first half ...more
I heard Fintan O’Toole on a podcast, and was immediately struck by how different the endless arguments here in the UK sound to our neighb ...more
Fintan O'Toole bases a fair amount of the analysis upon what he perceives as "self-pity" on behalf of the English that 'we' didn't get our just desserts after winning WW2. I was born in late 1950s London, it was grindingly poor, as was most of the UK then, but I have never encountered that argument. I believe that this is simply untrue.
What is true is that many English have an as ...more
Ich habe Ende der neunziger Jahre in England gelebt; ich verstand die Tabloids nicht, ihren beinahe greifbaren Hass auf die EU und wunderte mich, warum sich die Engländer benahmen, als wenn sie Österreich wären, wenn sie doch Deutschland hätten sein können.
Dieses Buc ...more
I came across this book when Ken Early interviewed the author on his excellent political podcast on the Second Captains network. A critique of Brexit but more importantly an earnest exploration into the mindset that allows what The Irish Times called “a bewildering act of self-harm” in its editorial the day after the leave vote won. Nothing that has happened since would suggest that this is inaccurate.
It is written with humour but clear and critical accuracy -
in some cases I felt it ...more
I found myself nodding in agreement to large parts of the book and I'd definitely recommend it as worth a read if you're looking for a compelling explanation of some of the psychology and history (in an anecdotal way) which ...more