Friday, 4 December 2009

An Utterly Impartial History of Britain Review

I had given this book to my mother for Christmas last year and she loved it so much that she decided that I should read it.
Well I might not always agree with my mother but this time it is an exception. It is really a great book to read.
Well it would seem quite daunting to read 2000 years of British History but John O'Farrell does it brilliantly. 552 pages and I never for a moment felt those school time episodes when you would like to disappear rather to stick out another single word from that teacher.
History is told in a comical exhilarating way. Full of facts without every being boring or overwhelming. On the contrary it made me search on internet for more facts.
I was fascinated by his now and again explanations of certain expressions or words that we use today but have come a long way through history.
I would recommended it as a school text book because it will finally take away the dullness that most of us had to endure while studying history and instill in those who read it the eagerness to know more (which is what teaching should actually be about especially history).
One episode really made me laugh and think. At the end of the book O'Farrell describes the British way of disagreeing with something. So you would like to start with writing to a local newspaper, then a petition and if you really feel strongly about it “there's always the poster in the front window”.
Well you see when I have something to say to my fellow condominium Italian neighbours I always stick an A4 paper on my front door (in the absence of front windows), deeming it as the most civilised way of communicating without pinpointing or accusing anyone.
Probably here Mr. John O'Farrell would have something funny to say as how we ex-British colonies have acquired the bizarre customs of the British Empire and eventually export it to wherever we go obliviously of how silly or alien those methods can seem to others.

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