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Genre: Non-fiction

Mark Easton’s looks at the UK through its relationship to 26 subjects — one for each letter of the alphabet. From Alcohol, Beat Bobbies, Cheese and Dogs through Immigration, Justice, Knives and Murder to the Queen, Umbrellas, Vegetables and the Zzzz of a well-deserved rest, the book's meticulously researched but accessible essays map the back-story of contemporary Britain. With each lettered chapter, the reader is invited to look at the United Kingdom in a new way: standing back to see our small islands in a global or historical context, and then diving down to scrutinise vital details that may be overlooked. Taken together, the essays reveal a Britain that cannot be seen through the prism of daily news or current affairs. A park, a wedding, a beggar and a carrot all take on new significance once you have read . As the UK welcomes millions of visitors to its shores for the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, this is a book that offers insight into the psyche of Britain; a nation's obsessions, prejudices, values and idiosyncrasies. What sort of place is it, what are the natives like, and how did we get to where we are?

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