THE LURE OF GREATNESS: England’s Brexit and America’s Trump

By Anthony Barnett

From the writer and co-founder of openDemocracy, a forensic and sweeping polemic

Friday, 1 December 2017

A dazzling, all-encompassing, big picture analysis.. easily the best of its kind, brilliantly written and endlessly thought-provoking

Dear all, here is the Guardian's online politics editor's wonderful short review of Lure (in full below). I'm launching Wales for Europe in Cardiff on the 5th, already sold out. Labour Tube have a 50 minutes interview starting with longest "brief answer" in history (12 mins!) as I summarise the book. And the video of last month's meeting with Caroline Lucas, Clive Lewis, Suzanne Moore and me with John Harris is here. As Brexit moves into the next a crucial, crisis stage, thank you all, have a good Xmas and happy new year!

Here is Andrew Sparrow's review:

"Brexit books are still coming, and over the last few weeks two particularly good one have landed on my desk. Here they are - both strongly recommended.

"The Lure of Greatness by Anthony Barnett: Barnett, director of Charter 88 and a founder of openDemocracy, has spent his life campaigning for democratic change from the left only to find that, when the moment of seismic, anti-elitist, constitutional upheaval did arrive, it was in the form of Brexit, and from the right. This is his attempt to make sense of it. It is not a campaign book; it’s about the political forces that explain what happened, and it is remarkable in its reach. Barnett is particularly interested in Brexit as a consequence of England’s lack of self-government (“England-without-London” voted 55% leave, he points out), but he ranges very widely, covering neoliberalism, Iraq, Blair’s constitutional reforms and even Princess Diana (an early exponent of “celebrity populism”, he argues.) Some of his judgements are probably too harsh, but overall this is a dazzling, all-encompassing, big picture analysis of the Brexit vote, easily the best of its kind in print, brilliantly written and endlessly thought-provoking. Do read it."

(The other book reviewed is Brexit and Ireland by Tony Connelly)

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