Owen Jones opens Chavs with an uncomfortable vignette from an east London dinner party where, a few months after the start of the credit crunch, a group of well-educated professionals are eating a blackcurrant cheesecake. ‘Suddenly, one of the hosts tried to raise the mood by throwing in a light-hearted joke. “It’s sad that Woolworth’s is closing. Where will all the chavs buy their Christmas presents?”’
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This 'jaunty narrative raises fundamental questions about the role of popular history. Should this just be a matter of telling tales, as the general public often seems to think?'
@DrLRoach weighs up Charles Spencer's account of the White Ship Disaster.
'Amis clearly belongs to the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do school of pedagogy. More or less everything he says is demonstrably contradicted by elements of his own work, be they here or elsewhere.'
'The bar is set high at the outset, and readers are primed to wonder if Mikhail can make his case.'
Does Alan Mikhail's new life of the Sultan Selim I really overturn 'shibboleths that have held sway for a millennium'? Caroline Finkel investigates.