Does the Public Get What it Deserves? - review by Simon Heffer

Simon Heffer

Does the Public Get What it Deserves?

Does the Public Get What it Deserves?


Of the twenty or so nonfiction books I have reviewed in the last year, only one or two stick in the memory for the right reasons. They had, for a start, a properly constructed argument or narrative. They were well researched and had something original to say. They complemented this with a lucid writing style. They included enough variation in tone to avoid monotony. They were what we used to call ‘well written’: words chosen correctly for the full weight of their meaning, and presented within a properly grammatical framework. They were the work of that rare author who knows a subjunctive or a gerund when he sees one; or who can write allusively without appearing pretentious or patronising. They are books for what we used to call ‘educated people’.
In this age of ‘inclusiveness’ it is impolite, no doubt, to pander to such tastes. That would appear, at any rate, to be the view of some publishers: for I have found it hard to believe that some books I have reviewed lately have been through what most authors would

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