SHORTLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE 2014
SHORTLISTED FOR THE PADDY POWER POLITICAL BOOK AWARDS 2014
In The British Dream, David Goodhart tells the story of post-war immigration and charts a course for its future. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with people from all over the country and a wealth of statistical evidence, he paints a striking picture of how Britain has been transformed by immigration and examines the progress of its ethnic minorities – projected to be around 25 per cent of the population by the early 2020s.
Britain today is a more open society for minorities than ever before, but it is also a more fragmented one. Goodhart argues that an overzealous multiculturalism has exacerbated this problem by reinforcing difference instead of promoting a common life. The multi-ethnic success of Team GB at the 2012 Olympics and a taste for chicken tikka masala are not, he suggests, sufficient to forge common bonds; Britain needs a political culture of integration.
Goodhart concludes that if Britain is to avoid a narrowing of the public realm and sharply segregated cities, as in many parts of the US, its politicians and opinion leaders must do two things. Firstly, as advocated by the centre right, they need to bring immigration down to more moderate and sustainable levels. Secondly, as advocated by the centre left, they need to shape a progressive national story about openness and opportunity – one that captures how people of different traditions are coming together to make the British dream.
Well-written, thoughtful and exhaustively researched, his volume will come to be regarded as one of the most important contributions to political debate in the early 21st century --Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph
The British Dream is an important contribution to any durable "one nation" politics... I hope the book will be widely read --Jon Cruddas, New Statesman
Intelligent and well-reasoned --Rod Liddle, Sunday Times
An important study of postwar immigration into the UK --Sir Michael Howard, Spectator
This is an important book, and it throws up complex questions --Patrick French, Mail on Sunday
There is a risk in saying such things about immigration. One closes Goodhart's book, though, believing there is a bigger risk in not saying them. --Christopher Caldwell, Financial Times
Like a latter-day George Orwell, David Goodhart penetrates the fog of delusion and wishful thinking surrounding the issues of race, immigration, multiculturalism and national identity. Goodhart has written a hard-headed but also an optimistic book. --Frank Field, MP
Finally: a European liberal who isn't afraid of his own shadow and a British intellectual who isn't allergic to evidence... No intelligent person can afford not to read this book. --Trevor Phillips, former Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission
You won't agree with everything he says, but he has made himself the starting point for a vital debate at the centre of British and European politics. --Michael Ignatieff, Professor, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Immigration is one of the most important issues facing Britain today... David Goodhart never settles for the conventional wisdom. This book is the best guide yet to one of the hottest topics in British politics. --The Rt Hon David Willetts, MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science
A fluent and thoughtful contribution --Oliver Kamm, The Times