Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £11.99

Buy Now for £11.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

In this compelling and essential audiobook, Jason Cowley, editor-in-chief of the New Statesman, examines contemporary England through a handful of the key news stories of recent times to reveal what they tell us about the state of the nation and to answer the question: 'Who are we now?'

Spanning the years since the election of Tony Blair’s New Labour government to the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, the audiobook investigates how England has changed and how those changes have affected us. Cowley weaves together the seemingly disparate stories of the Chinese cockle-pickers who drowned in Morecambe Bay, the East End Imam who was tested during a summer of terror, the pensioner who campaigned against the closure of her GP’s surgery and Gareth Southgate’s transformation of English football culture and embrace of progressive patriotism. And in doing so, he shows the common threads that unite them, whether it is attitudes to class, nation, identity, belonging, immigration or religion.

He also examines the so-called Brexit murder in Harlow, the haunting repatriation of the fallen in the Iraq and Afghan wars through the town of Wootton Bassett, the Lancashire woman who took on Gordon Brown and the flight of the Bethnal Green girls to Islamic State, fleshing out the headlines with the very human stories behind them.

By looking at these stories in vivid and often moving detail, Cowley tells us something important about what it means to be human in the age of globalisation. Moreover, he offers a clear and compassionate analysis of how and why England became so divided and the United Kingdom so fragmented and how we got to this cultural and political crossroads. Most importantly, he shows how the pandemic revealed the best of who we are and why there is genuine hope for the future in an era of heightened English national self-consciousness.

©2022 Macmillan Publishers International Limited (P)2022 Macmillan Publishers International Limited

Critic reviews

"A beautiful piece of storytelling - the British eyed from unexpected places, from China to the middle of the middle of the middle. The question will never go away but these answers help us a lot." (Andrew Marr)

"As someone who zips around England - and the wider UK every week - this book really resonates with me. Wonderfully written with colourful and incisive accounts of contemporary England." (Chris Mason, presenter of BBC Radio 4's Any Questions?)

What listeners say about Who Are We Now?

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.