British politician, journalist, and author who is a Member of the European Parliament. He is also the Secretary-General of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR). Hannan advocates localism, and he has written several books arguing for democratic reform. He is also President of the Young Britons' Foundation and a patron of Reading University Conservative Association. He is a Eurosceptic and is strongly critical of European integration. Besides politics, Hannan is a journalist; he has written newspaper leaders, a blog for The Daily Telegraph and currently writes for the online news website and aggregator CapX, and has published several books. Born in Peru, Hannan speaks Spanish and French fluently.
The success and dominance of the Anglosphere—notably the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and, increasingly, India—finds its roots in the rights of first-century free-born Germanic tribesmen, says Daniel Hannan. That heritage—which has evolved over two millennia into the parliamentary democracy of self-government, free trade, free speech, freedom of religion, property rights, and the rule of common law—distinguishes us from most of the rest of the world posits Hannan in “Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World.” Those rights have unleashed on the globe the economic, political and social free-for-all—despised by totalitarians of all stripes—that has produced so much wellbeing and happiness for so many people, he argues. It is, I think, a convincing argument.
Hannan, an Oxford-educated journalist and member of the European Parliament representing South East England, has produced in “Inventing Freedom” a fortifying and eye-opening historical page-turner that should be read by everyone who embraces the humanitarian values largely founded in that Anglosphere.
In state-run economies, he says, corruption is “systematic and semi-legal” while capitalism, conversely, harnesses homo sapiens’ inherent competitive greed to socially productive ends: “The way to become rich in a free economy is to give others what they want, not to suck up to those in power.” Alas, we are falling more into that latter category, he suggests, particularly in Britain, which has allowed self-government and elected representatives to be subjugated by European Union bureaucrats and appointed judges.
Throughout the book Hannan harkens back to our free-born heritage, showing the political progress of English speakers from their earliest days through the Magna Carta, the Reformation, the American Constitution and ongoing threats, both external and internal. “Anglosphere culture,” he says, “is based on self-government, localism, and the elevation of the individual over the state.” And on free contracts and free markets as opposed to centralized control and planned economies.
He cites foundering EU states such as Greece as examples of hamstrung socialized societies where people remain unproductive and unfulfilled: “Just as an individual can be infantilized by external subsidy so can an entire electorate.” Conversely, the free Anglosphere continues to lead the world in most endeavors and continues to attract people globally to its sanctuary states. However, he sees its freedoms under attack via speech codes, international tribunals that supersede local institutions, religious intolerance, and other encroachments on personal freedom and individualism.
“Once you reject the notion of exceptionalism as intrinsically chauvinistic, you quickly reject the institutions on which that exceptionalism rested: absolute property rights, free speech, devolved government, personal autonomy. Bit by bit, your country starts to look like everyone else’s. Its taxes rise; its legislature loses ground to the executive and to an activist judiciary; it accepts foreign law codes and charters as supreme; it drops the notion of free contract; it prescribes whom you many employ and on what terms; it expands its bureaucracy; it forgets its history.”
Hannan’s book, however, is a good, necessary reminder of that history.
Drivel. Uses a libertarian definition of freedom that does not exist in the real world. Cites authors who have no business being published. Claims the world should be on its knees thanking the English for establishing liberal democratic freedoms. Denies England ever had a peasantry on the slimmest of arguments. Maddeningly myopic in its views.
A compelling account of why the English-speaking countries are successful and everyone else is rubbish, proving that Peter Sellars and the church warden from Dad's Army (Mr Yeatman) were correct in 1066 And All That when they agreed that Britain was Top Nation. Less fortunate countries (like France) were and are top-down, statist, interventionist, pettifogging bureaucracies unconcerned with the rights of the individual and therefore doomed to failure. Feel sorry for Johnny Foreigner, he just didn't have our advantages. Also the American War of Independence was the second English Civil war (after the Roundheads and Cavaliers) as Americans didn't exist at the time. Both sides, especially the Patriots, thought of themselves as British. Paul Revere could never have shouted "The British are coming!" as everyone involved was British anyway and this would have been a very confusing warning. America is really an England that was allowed to get on with life unmolested, thanks to common law, jury trials, representative government, property rights, Protestant work ethic and religious non-conformism. Except, this fragile freedom is potentially all going down the drain with Obama's disdain for the Anglosphere - apparently based on the false premise that the Kenyans had to fight Britain for independence. I hope that's clear. Oh, and the Levellers turn out to have been proto-libertarians, so not trendy socialist martyrs at all, being very keen on their property rights and harking back to a "lost age of Anglo-Saxon freedoms."
Love any chance I have to hear Daniel Hannan speak, on the news, on YouTube, etc. I read this book concurrently with my project of reading the 4 volumes of Churchill's "History of the English Speaking Peoples", and the overlap, each with the other, very much enriched my experience. Hannan's views of the "Anglosphere" were a helpful new insight in my understanding of the historical significance and achievements of English speakers.
Very well written and interesting book. I've marked 8 passages for future reference, about 4x the norm. Four things I really liked about this book: 1. A new take on the American Revolution, which is very thought provoking. 2. A strong and direct refutation of Marx, pointing out exactly how wrong he was and the absurdity that people continue to repeat his claims as though they are a factual possibility. 3. A reminder that the current Administration does, indeed, have a strong dislike for our alliance with Britain. The book runs through everything this Administration has done differently when compared everything the U.S. had done as standard practice since FDR. 4. That while many of us have the romantic notion that societal evolution inevitably leads to freedom and democracy, perhaps the natural state of affairs is various forms of dictatorship. This means we need to constantly feed, reinforce, and protect democracy against such a drift towards dictatorship. Perhaps all Socialistic systems of government will lead to a dictatorship, "Better to live under one tyrant a thousand miles away than a thousand tyrants one mile away."--Daniel Bliss
My two favorite passages: We are, in other words, all in this together. Everyone on the planet is descended from the exploiters and the exploited. And that, surely, is what makes the arguments over guilt and apologies and reparations so silly. We can all all agree that slavery was an abominable crime. From a contemporary perspective, it seems unbelievable that otherwise humane societies tolerated it. It is understandable that we still flinch with revulsion at the thought our ancestors engaged in the practice. But then, so did the ancestors of every other human being on earth. If we are to single out Anglosphere nations in this context, it can only be to note their unique dedication to eliminating the evil.
I don't know how many of the people parroting Marx are aware that they're doing so. But, whatever name we call it by, his doctrine has proved stunningly impervious to events. You'd have thought--I did think--that the collapse of the Warsaw Pact regimes in 1989 would have definitely refuted revolutionary socialism. Yes successive generations continue to fall for it.
Hannan's book is strongest as a work of history that charts how the events of English and American history were informed by the values of a free society, e.g., absolute property rights and the rule of law. One highlight in this regard is his discussion of the ideological continuity between the English Revolution of 1688, the American Revolution, and the American Civil War. All three, he points out, were fundamentally civil wars fought between representatives of the Whig ideology of freedom and Tory statism.
Hannan does come dangerously close to jingoism in his valorization of the English language and the Anglosphere, though ultimately he recognizes the paramount importance of ideas which have no necessary connection to language or national character.
The weakest aspect of the book is Hannan's lack of engagement with the philosophical premises of liberty. For instance, in pondering the reason English-speaking peoples have shied away from fascism and communism (the section, "No Extremism, Please" in chapter 8), he speculates that they "have tended to prefer practice to theory, to shy away from abstract ideologies." He is not sure whether this is the result of "historical experience or from some quality in their language . . . ." He toys with clues from behavioral science, and finally posits a neurological difference to explain why some people are drawn to authoritarian governments. The whole discussion is dismayingly unphilosophical, bordering on anti-intellectual jingoism.
Despite this flaw, the book makes good the claim that "it is also impossible to write meaningful history without value judgments." Inventing Freedom is a brilliant and lucid defense of the part these value judgments have played in history, and how crucial they are for the civilized future we desire.
In this book, Hannan tries to prove that the values of liberty, representative government, property rights, and common law shared almost uniquely by the Anglophone world -- which he calls the 'Alglosphere' -- have their roots in early English historical developments. He also argues that Both America and Britain, as well as Canada, Australia, and to a lesser extent, other former British Commonwealth countries share this common tradition. He is careful to point out that this heritage is not genetic, but cultural.
Hannan is a historian by training, and his thorough knowledge of British history is on full display in this book. He covers the full breadth of British history, from the Anglo-Saxon Witan, to the resistance of Norman aristocratic rule, Magna Carta, Simon de Montfort, the Lollards, the Levelers, the Puritans, the American Second Sons and Founding Fathers, and others, demonstrating how each contributed to the system of rights and freedoms we know today, and was most purely exemplified in the American Constitutional system.
Hannan is a member of the EU Parliament representing the conservative party for Southeast England. He is a Eurosceptic and a libertarian, and strongly supported Brexit, though this book came out before the referendum so he doesn't mention it. He has also spent much of his life in the Americas and Continental Europe, being born in Peru, working in Brussels, and having travelled extensively to India, Asia, and Australia, so he has a good understanding of not only British culture, but also American, Latin American, Continental, and Eastern perspectives.
He comes across as somewhat revisionist and agenda driven at times, but this book is more about the history than politics, at least until the last couple of chapters, and there's no denying that he makes a very persuasive case and I do agree with most of his points. Either way, I learnt a lot about parts of British history that I was unaware of until now, and it was worth reading just for that. I would highly recommend it to people on both sides of the political aisle if you want to get a new perspective on the origins of Western political values.
Hannan knows how to write beautiful English prose. Couple that with excellent knowledge of a vast range of subjects and an eye for detail and this is one of the best books I have ever read.
If you are a Conservative of any stamp, this will show you the beauty of a small State. If you lean to the left, this book ought to show you an attractive creed that also makes sense.
However, with that all said, Hannan recognises that true freedom grew up under strong Christianity (in particular under Puritanism) but doesn't think that God is needed for freedom to continue. But cutting down apple trees will eventually lead to a shortage of apples--the supply in the barn will only fool locals for a time into thinking all is well without trees.
One other element ruined this powerful argument for freedom: the use of psychology. Sin is a much better explanation for foolish thinking, even if certain personality types are more easily drawn to Socialism.
Peruvian-born Daniel Hannan is quick to point out that he doesn't think the actual English language helped "invent freedom" and create the modern world -- it's the people who spoke it and the societies they developed that did so.
In Inventing Freedom Hannan, a British citizen and member of the European Parliament, suggests that the culture of what he calls "the Anglosphere" is what a lot of people actually refer to when they speak about some of what the modern world derives from Western civilization. Aspects such as the rule of law, respect for individual property rights and other freedom-buttressing characteristics arose out of some peculiarities of English society that date back very far and which help such societies succeed.
Hannan suggests that some of the earliest immigrants to what would become England brought a tradition of settling disputes and creating laws from amongst the people themselves. Even if a tribe had a chieftain, or later a king, that ruler was himself subject to limitation by the laws of the land. Those he ruled could bring a complaint against him for transgressing those laws. In practice, such an act was usually limited to other fairly powerful people rather than the common folks -- it was the barons rather than the basket-weavers who brought King John to heel at Runnymede -- but it was still a restraint not seen as much in continental nations. Magna Carta wasn't a universal franchise or a declaration of equal rights regardless of race or sex, but it's hard to get to those things if you bypass it.
Over the history of the Anglosphere, many of its conflicts and revolutions have been about returning such rights to the people, or safeguarding them or expanding them, Hannan suggests. Even the American Revolution was sparked by movements that demanded for themselves the rights Englishmen had on the home island much more than it sought a separate nation. Hannan suggests today's Anglosphere is England, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, tentatively Ireland, to a greater and greater degree India and potentially South Africa. He suggests development of the latter three to the level that they are instituting legal and political structures that aim at holding their governments to account in the same way the ancient traditions held the king to account.
There's a lot to what Hannan says. Gandhi may have snarked that he thought Western civilization "would be a very good idea," but he was canny enough to know that the British who occupied his country had a society and a legal system which would ensure his nonviolent resistance would work, especially once he convinced the average John Bull of the rightness of Indian independence. The modern world's greatest (by which I mean worst) totalitarian systems -- National Socialism and Communism -- only gained tenuous footholds in Anglosphere nations (unless you include college campuses). The British Navy was essential to ending the slave trade.
Hannan probably overwrites his case. He acknowledges some of the Anglosphere's features in other nations, but doesn't dig too much into their history there. His look at English influence in India, although it acknowledges how such influence began as a very un-Anglospheric occupation, is kind of sketchy and could use detail.
But on the other hand he has a different point than reciting India's history or South Africa's history or that of the U.S., Canada or any of the others. And even if the English legal and political heritage he covers is more correlative than causative of some of the high points of the philosophies of liberty, politics and government, his survey is still significant food for thought on these matters.
Full disclosure-I LOVE books like this. I loved 'How the Irish Saved Civilization' (and pretty much all of Thomas Cahill's other books I've read about different people groups). I enjoyed 'How the Scots Invented the Modern World'. So this book was a already a good fit for me.
You can read more detailed or argumentative reviews elsewhere. Here is what stood out to me about the book. His account of the English Civil war gave me a better understanding of it than I have ever had. Further, the lines of connection he draws between that war, the American Revolutionary War, and the American War Between the States, was impressive enough it made me want to go and read the work he cited as a source.
His account of the independence movements of both Ireland and India and their subsequent political/cultural changes has changed the way I think about those conflicts. I was skeptical of his inclusion of India as part of the Anglosphere, but he makes a good case. I still think India's fate is uncertain, but I certainly hope he is right and they continue along the path they are on.
CAUTION Hannan is an English political conservative, so some of his viewpoints will annoy the heck out of you if you are liberal. I am perhaps not the best judge, being conservative myself, but I really think it only shows at the very beginning of the first chapter and the last chapter and a half.
CRITICISM Hannan does an excellent job of chronicling the role of Protestantism in the development of the English speaking peoples conception of freedom. Never fear, he balances that with praise for several Catholic political philosophers. However, as the book goes on, especially as he gets to the final chapters and is diagnosing cultural ills, he seems blind to any possible correlation between the problems he is identifying and the general decline in religious belief in the Commonwealth countries. With the United States of course being an outlier in these statistics.
Overall, I thought it was a great book. I will read some of his other works.
Hannan demonstrated his Anglo-American exceptionalism stance in this neatly written book, while most of the cultural implications within the book would be considered politically incorrect in most Western countries, they nevertheless have their merits. It is indeed true that the origin of many so-called universal values that we praise and cherish today can trace their roots back to Anglo-American traditions -- these including individual liberties, common law, constitutionalism, protection of private properties, separation of powers in the form of checks and balances, and so on. It isn't crazy for someone to naturally reach the conclusion that the modern world derives from the Anglo-American cultural sphere, or rather to use the more frequently quoted word, the Anglosphere. The explanations in the book were mostly convincingly laid down with logical inferences and adequate supporting examples. On a more general level of discussion, Hannan's claim that English-speaking countries alone invented freedom in the modern sense is, to a large extent, quite accurate to the history.
In fact, what I find more thought-provoking wasn't the fact that many foundational pillars of modern society came from Anglosphere, but rather that the English-speaking world today is heading towards the very opposite of what it wished to achieve. The best example is, undoubtedly, the United Kingdom itself -- now engulfed by the broken promises of small government and free market economy, and tangled with bureaucratic institutions with size comparable to that of Russia and China, we can only confidently conclude that whatever values Hannan cherished, he would find it harder and harder to observe these values in the present-day Anglosphere. Given the unpromising prospect of Brexit and the troubling presidency of Donald Trump, the crucial question remains: if the English-speaking world is to lose the control of the banner of freedom, who is the next in line to hold it high?
I wasn't particularly convinced of the overall thesis of the book (anglosphere exceptionalism), but he did lay out the case effectively. There are definitely some parts of it that seem like they are reaching, or at least reaching-adjacent. For example, at the beginning he talks about some sort of linguistic determinism nonsense that seems to imply that the language English itself may be at least partly responsible for the particular cultural norms at play here. I suspect it was a rhetorical flourish, and it's not a core part of his argument, but it's somewhat sloppy.
The main problem I have is that in a lot of these cases he's making arguments about things I don't know much about, so I can't quite put them into context, and I don't feel that I'm getting a balanced perspective on things. It seems to me that India, to some extent South Africa, and a number of other poor English-speaking countries/Commonwealth states (Jamaica, Fiji, etc) are clear outliers to the "anglosphere exceptionalism" thesis. He makes a big deal out of India being part of the Anglosphere, but culturally they seem far distant from America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc - countries whose founding populations established a UK-like culture and legal structure from the beginning (and also, notably, rich countries).
In the end, I'd like to see a debate between Hannan and another expert on the topic - I suspect that there are many counter-examples to dampen the enthusiasm in this book, though there may be a grain of truth in the fact that the meme of respect for property and other cultural factors that mutually reinforce economic prosperity may have originated in the anglosphere.
As a book of history and cultural analysis, this is book is excellent. As a current-events political analysis, it is extremely weak. After spending hundreds of pages building a careful and detailed case to support his points about the uniqueness of the English-speaking peoples, upon arriving at the present day, the author starts making assertions completely unsupported by any evidence beyond his own feelings, admitting as much when he writes on page 354, "I am afraid it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Barack Obama wants the United States to be a lot more like the EU: highly taxed, eco-conscious, semipacifist, redistributive, centralised, indebted." There is nothing before or after this sentence to expand on it; it would seem to be just the way things are. He takes similar pot-shots at Pierre Trudeau, for reasons even more vague. In the modern day, he often gets facts wrong, such as when he refers to a British general election that took place in 2009 (there was no such election). I suppose this goes to show why Hannan is an MEP (the European Parliament being a dumping ground for political wannabes) as opposed to an MP and demonstrates why historians-as-politicians can be amusing and/or interesting but really ought not be allowed to run anything.
Verdict: "How We Invented Freedom" was great; "Why It Matters" was rubbish. By all means read the book, but you may as well tear out the last two chapters.
In the midst of the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln observed that “the world has never had a good definition of the word liberty . . . [but was] much in want of one.” It was true then; it is true now.
In Lincoln’s context the issue was slavery. “With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself and the product of his labor,” Lincoln said; “while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor.” In our context the issue is the proper role of government—not just in America but in Europe as well. Daniel Hannan in Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World doesn’t so much provide a definition for liberty—though he does hold to a classical definition: the right of citizens to believe, speak, and assemble without fear of censure or coercion; to have, hold, and dispose of private property; to expect justice in honoring contracts and covenants; to live under the rule of law and not arbitrary power; and to elect and hold representatives accountable—as a history of liberty.
In the present era of moral relativistic multi-culturism I often consider the question whether a culture and its people have a right to exist. The left during my lifetime has engaged in a unified campaign to undermine by denigration of its values the political culture of the English-speaking peoples. Yes, I said "English-speaking peoples" because unbeknownst to most Americans, including those who want to take their country back, the values they extol as America's first principles embodied in the call for liberty in the Declaration of Independence, would have not been readily known to the founders but for the more than 1000 year struggle for, development and practice of those values by our English ancestors that we claim for ourselves today.
Hannan's exposition of our common history as members of the anglosphere, i.e. those nations who speak English and share the common heritage of the struggle for liberty as discussed above encourages me to answer that a culture and its people do have a right to exist, especially if the values of that culture promote the greatest degree of freedom for the greatest number of people as compared to any other culture or society in the world.
Daniel Hannan, a Brit serving on the European Parliament, has written an engaging history book that offers insight into the modern political arena. Most of the book provides a history of the "Anglosphere", with an eye towards what makes us different (exceptional). (Hint: it's not a "Western" thing or even an American thing.) There is a strong emphasis on common law, property rights, individual freedom, and representative government. The role of religious freedom is discussed extensively. I gained a new perspective on pre-Norman Invasion England, the consequences of the Norman Invasion, the importance of the Magna Carta, the role of religion in the American Revolution, the role of the British in ending the slave trade and more. At times Hannan makes some not-so-subtle digs at left-of-center parties on both sides of the pond, but most of this is contained in the last Chapter. Well-written book that made me think about where we, as Americans, came from and what's worth fighting for as we move forward.
In many respects this is a sensible history of English exceptionalism in respect to government and law. However, because it is a polemic there is no solid evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of this approach and it becomes an argument for small government and low taxation. It's interesting that aspects of English exceptionalism that don't fit the argument, yet which are hugely popular with British subjects such as the NHS and the BBC with their huge state intervention are not considered, or rather the NHS, free education and the welfare state are written off as being poorly aligned with the true ideas that form the Anglosphere. Their is no attempt to determine whether, in the modern world, the Anglosphere's values need to adapt. Mass franchise, working class aspirations and globalisation seem to require the adaptation of the organisation of a country, if not its core values. Interesting enough, but not sufficiently well argued in my view.
Daniel Hannan is a wonderful writer who is clearly a big reader himself. I appreciate his references to other writers and their thoughts and knowledge. He also brings a unique personal history and political career experience to his analysis and writing. In "Inventing Freedom," Hannan embraces the concept of American "exceptionalism;" and explains that what is exceptional is also replicable -- a nation of-the-people who elect representatives that are accountable to the law of the land. "Inventing Freedom" traces the origins of America's unique institutions and character, contrasts these with the traditions and governments of Europe, and shows how easily we can let our national treasures slip through our hands. "Our principles," he quotes from Matthew Spalding, "always await rediscovery..." Readers of Daniel Hannan's new book will be rewarded with page after page of rediscovery.
A great book about the exceptionalism of the Anglosphere. If you have ever asked yourself why Anglophone countries seem to have better living standards and are generally more prosperous, this book can deliver most of the answers. It demonstrates how this exceptionalism existed almost right from the beginning of the Anglo-Saxon civilisation of the British Isles, interrupted mainly by the Norman conquest in 1066. Nevertheless, Hannan takes us through the evolution of Anglosphere identity, showing that, in many cases, it was the former British colonies that distilled the aspects of British civilisation that would serve as the seed that would eventually make these nations great. Definitely worth reading, especially against the backdrop of current events to undermine the very foundations that have made English-speaking nations great historically.
A book strongest in history and weakest in the present day, it presents the development of freedom as it sourced in post-Roman Britain. The peculiarities of its island status and people's history carried forth greater liberty than could be found elsewhere. The liberties that are considered the heritage of the "West". The author is not politically correct in writing, he is calling out the achievements of the English-speaking nations regardless of their ancestry. He also has a valuable perspective on events, in particular calling the "Revolutionary War" as the "Second English Civil War". Only in retrospect can we see the different nations. Consider yourself a proud inheritor of the liberties long a part of the Anglosphere.
This is a great book! Daniel Hannan (MEP) argues that eight hundred years since Magna Carta the rights liberties of the English speaking peoples put forward in that document are older than the charter itself.
The great catastrophe came in 1066, when on England with its ancient liberties, local self government, "law of the land," protoparliament and absolute property rights a feudal system was imposed such as those on the Continent. The lost battle against the Normans in 1066 was more than a new regime, it was a new way of life. The English took subsequently three centuries to undo most of these changes, reasserting their ancient rights and heritage.
This book is recommended for anyone interested in political theory and the history of political ideas and systems.
An informative history of the 'Anglosphere' from Anglo-Saxon times to the present. I learned things I didn't know, or had forgotten, about the common law, the English Civil War and the American revolution, and it was a timely read considering Hannan's role in Brexit (my copy arrived the day before the results of the vote were announced). I don't agree with all of Hannan's points--for example, I think he understates the negative effects of the British Empire in Ireland and India, where English was not the native language. However, his book is a good counterbalance to the reflexive condemnation of English culture that too often prevails nowadays. Things could have been a lot worse, my fellow United States citizens...what if North America had been controlled by Belgium??
Ugh, I wish I had written a bit about this when it was fresh in my mind last January. Now, it's been half an age since I read this book, but I do remember just being so glad and proud to be a part of the Anglophone family, and wishing like crazy that the U.S. were still part of the Commonwealth. English is the language of freedom and human dignity, and the English, nay we can include them all, so I'll correct to *the British* are probably the greatest people ever to walk the earth. I say that not as hyperbole and not at all with my tongue in my cheek, but rather with awe and reverence for the exceptional nature of that smallish northern island. God save the Queen!
A good book, great at times, poor at others. I've followed Hannan since his famous speech directed at his PM ("You are a devalued prime minister of a devalued government.") Hannan's grasp of both political history and philosophy is superb. Where he runs into trouble, in my estimation, is his grasp of how religion (particularly Protestant Christianity) interacts with politics. Mr. Hannan has a bit too much "Enlightenment" secularism in his veins for my taste. Nonetheless, his primary thesis, that the English-speaking peoples, thanks to an accident of geography, the Protestant Reformation, and the staunch retention of ideas such as private property, is quite strongly presented.
Whilst I found a few points made a little beyond how I'd put it and disagreed with some of the views expressed in the earlier chapters (not surprising from a Welsh speaking Welshman I suppose) I found it impossible to disagree with the conclusion in this book.
Daniel Hannan makes a compelling case for regaining that which once made the anglosphere great. The incompatibility of the English system of law with European systems is something I've long known, but here the differences are laid bare in an easily digestible way. The final chapter is a breathtaking tour de force.
It should be compulsory reading for anyone seeking to advocate a Yes in the upcoming UK referendum on EU membership.
The misbegotten notion of cultural equivalence should be disposed of immediately. Some cultures work better than others, one in particular created the basis for the fastest improvement in human history. Perfect? Of course not. Better than the alternatives? Obviously.