Travelling to the UK? Here are some must-reads
These books will tell you about Britain’s history, culture, anthropology, race relations and even motorways, but none explain Brexit
On a recent visit to Italy, I read The Italians by John Hooper, The Economist’s Rome correspondent. The book is a trip through the country’s history, language, politics, food, crime, family life and sexual mores, conducted by a deeply knowledgeable guide. As a template for understanding what I was seeing around me, it was just what I needed.
Earlier in the year, I read Revolution Française: Emmanuel Macron and the Quest to Reinvent a Nation by Sophie Pedder (another The Economist journalist, Paris bureau chief). While, as its subtitle suggests, the book is a dissection of the French president rather than a national tour d’horizon, Pedder tells us about France’s history, its business culture and education system, its promise and its fractures — metropolitan and provincial, reformers and rejectionists, globalising elites and gilets jaunes.