- Title: The Progressive Patriot
- Author: Billy Bragg
- ISBN: 9780593053430
- Page: 363
- Format: Hardcover
What does it mean to be English What does it mean to be British Is the cross of St George a proud symbol of a great tradition, or the badge of a neo Nazi In a world where British citizens can lay bombs to kill their countrymen, where religious fundamentalism is on the increase, and where the BNP are somehow part of the democratic process, what does patriotism actuallyWhat does it mean to be English What does it mean to be British Is the cross of St George a proud symbol of a great tradition, or the badge of a neo Nazi In a world where British citizens can lay bombs to kill their countrymen, where religious fundamentalism is on the increase, and where the BNP are somehow part of the democratic process, what does patriotism actually mean Identity can change depending on what company a person are in For example, someone could describe themselves British to one person, Scottish to another and, say, a Londoner to another, and be right every time But problems arise when someone tries to tell you what you are, based on your skin tone, religion, accent, surname, or whatever This book is Billy Bragg s urgent, eloquent, and passionate response to the events of July 7, 2005, when four bombs tore through a busy morning in London, killing 52 innocent people and injuring many A firm believer in tolerance and diversity, he felt himself hemmed in by fascists on one side and religious fanatics on the other The suicide bombers were all British born and well integrated into our multicultural society Yet, they felt no compunction in murdering and maiming their fellow citizens Inclusivity is important, but without a sense of belonging to accompany it, what chance social cohesion But where does a sense of belonging come from Can it be conferred by a legal document Is it a matter of blood and soil Can it be taught Is it nature or nurture This book pulls no punches in its insights, and its radical vision offers a positive hope for a country teetering on the brink of catastrophe.
Recent Comments "The Progressive Patriot"
'The Progressive Patriot' is an intelligent, fascinating and thought provoking look at what exactly it does, or might mean to be 'British' and a Patriot' in a modern 21st century multi-cultural society.Billy Bragg's book attempts to blend his own personal memoir with social history and for the most part does this very successfully. To some extent 'The Progressive Patriot' is all about reclaiming patriotism without its hitherto repugnant association with fascism and the far/alt-right. It is about [...]
Didn't actually mind it first time around. Second time, it was more obvious that this is just basically a glorified wank rag for Bragg's idealistic views on England.Packed with plenty of Liberal / Champagne-Socialist sentiments, of course.He really does love this country. Meh.
Very interesting and enjoyable by alternative rocker Billy Bragg. If you are in the least intrigued by the title, I can promise you won't be disappointed. Kind of loosely held together and associative more than following a logical path at times (but never lacking in logical reasoning). This does not distract in my opinion, but makes this kind of book very personal and very readable. You don't even have to agree with Billy's views on all and everything to appreciate The Progressive Patriot.
I have been a longtime fan of Billy Bragg's music and political activism, even though I don't always agree with his positions. Having seen him recently at a concert in Chicago, where he was still thrilled about the death of Margaret Thatcher a week earlier, I decided that it was time to read his book "The Progressive Patriot," which I had bought many months before. Somehow, I thought the book was mainly dealing with contemporary multicultural Britain and the fight against the far right, in which [...]
This reads almost like a collection of themed essays. But the central aim is to wrest ideas of national pride and patriotism from the right and to set out an argument for understanding Englishness within a progressive, left wing social / historical context. Billy Bragg is passionate and engaging and well informed but this book was written before the rise of UKIP, before the current government came to power, and it's impossible not feel that the tide has turned against him: the reactionaries have [...]
I loved reading this book, it combines my two favourite subjects - music and politics. it's well written and thought provoking. informative on many issues such as culture and even history which is a subject I'm previously not all that well read up on. very absorbing!
An enjoyable journey through Billy Bragg's life and politics.
‘The Progressive Patriot’ is Billy Bragg’s first book but I suspect it will not be his last. Following on from his previous album ‘England, Half English’ he is continuing his theme of what is national identity in a multicultural society, fuelled by the far right BNP being elected onto the council of his native Barking and the realisation that the London suicide bombers were British Nationals, Billy is looking for an inclusive patriotism that welcomes all under the National Banners.The [...]
This book at time suffers from a great deal of confusion about what it wants to be, part biography, part history of rock music, part genealogy and part anthropological study of the English as a nation and a race. The author repeats himself from chapter to chapter which suggests it wasn’t written as a full text but is a collection of thoughts written down over a period of time. That said, it’s passionate and welcoming in its delivery with a frisson of anger that juxtaposes the chapters quite [...]
Made me think, really enjoyed it,and actually made me glad to be English, thanks Billy
Thomas Paine's father was a Quaker. Why didn't I know this? Well I do now, so the book was of some use in educating me, although it's gonna take more books than I have time for in this lifetime to complete the process I can't help thinking. (Thomas Paine wrote a pamphlet called "Common Sense", which convinced the States to ditch the British monarchy and become a republic in 1776).Felt a bit as though I was walking through treacle at the beginning cos I'm not English in the Essex sense, but Billy [...]
Who were the only nation that entered the FIFA 2006 Soccer World Cup that does not have their own National Anthem or passport? Bear in mind that nearly 200 countries entered the competition, it was England. Surprising to some I'm sure, but it's true. I see myself as English, but my passport says I'm British and as for the national anthem. well it's the British National Anthem (and bloody hell it's dull!) we definitely need an English anthem. I learnt some of this from Mr Bragg's book (not the bi [...]
I like Billy Bragg; his music, his politics and what I knew of the bloke himself, so it's hardly a surprise that I liked this book. That being said, I couldn't claim that this is as good as George Orwell, whom he quotes and obviously admires, on the subject of Englishness. No major complaint there; not many people are as good as Orwell. Billy is good on the development of music that lead to Punk and Rock against Racism. He's pretty good on the politics of the Civil War and the rise of unionism, [...]
Thoroughly enjoyable. Bragg's prose is conversational and endearing. He speaks his mind and backs his opinions with well founded research, and though the sheer amount of historical reference can become tedious at times, the man somehow manages to reign things back in to friendlier, less formal territory--after all, scholarship is the enemy of romance. In The Progressive Patriot, Bragg does the same great job of mixing the political with the emotional and the personal that he does with his songwr [...]
I'm a long time Billy fan - love his music, lyrics, and refreshing honesty.Not sure that this book knows what it wants to be - there are big sections on the history of Barking, for example, that not everyone needs to know - but a brave attempt at exploring being english, which is especially pertinent post -Brexit. Interesting that this was written over 10 years ago but is already talking about the rise of racism and what are 'British values' ( now embedded in Ofsted expectations and part of educ [...]
Like Billy Bragg I was born in the mid fifties on the East London / Essex border. Our working class families were both linked to the Thames. We enjoyed the same music and were attracted to the same politics. I felt very at home reading this book.Bragg does a superb job of bringing together the multiple strands that brought us here. From American folk music to the Magna Carta, the Beveridge Report to Rock against Racism.Bragg makes the point that the forces which shape us, both homegrown and impo [...]
An interesting read, but Billy's slightly wobbly focus means that it's also a little frustrating. One minute he's telling us about how patriotism can be incorporated into left-wing politics, then the next minute he's banging on about an ancient Celtic encampment in Barking or the first Simon & Garfunkel record he bought. In fact, the whole patriotism thing only really pops up in the first and last chapters, but having said that, the parts on his musical upbringing are actually some of the mo [...]
This is a long discursive essay which is partly historical, partly autobiographical and partly analytical. It's well written, reads easily and was particularly fascinating given I lived not too far from Barking for a long time and that all the music mentioned is music I grew up with as well. I did spend some time with this book and iTunes adding songs to my wishlist. It is slightly dated given it refers to the current political scene at the time it was written but for anyone with a passing inter [...]
It's a good book to read even if you're not a fan of Billy Bragg. I know very little about English history and even less about their geography. It's a good concise history of the British working class and how they went about fighting for their rights in and out of the workplace and setting a standard for the rest of the world. For example, safe work environment and an 8 hour work day came of the progress that Billy Bragg's ancestors fought for. All in all, a very interesting read.
Billy Bragg conveys a refreshing enthusiasm for his subject matter, from the prehistory of Barking to the proliferation of English flags to mark recent sporting events. The Progressive Patriot is an entertaining read, but ultimately it fails to construct a coherent narrative or answer those questions it sets out to answer. As a gently meandering autobiography it's okay, but it doesn't really live up to its own ambitions.
Been searching for this kind of book for years. To reclaim a collective pride in being English from the bigots and xenophobes, whatever your origin. It's also a bit educational and accessible to the non-academia among us!I love all the stuff about his family, growing up in Barking/Dagenham - myself also coming from the same area. This is a really great read and I didn't want it to end, although perhaps there is a continuation in promoting fairness in society.I'm greatly inspired!
What a great book. Billy Bragg brings together points in his personal history and the greater (wider) history of England in an intriguing way. I really liked his descriptions of the way music came sadly sauntering into his life and changed it forever. He pays respect to his musical heroes, but at the same time gets to some truths and makes a good point about the changing nature of the music industry from the 60s onwards. Nostalgic to say the least.
I found this book intriguing, trust Billy to somehow combine social history, social justice, folk music, punk reactionism and autobiography in with cultural analysis. I was gutted I missed his concert in Paris which was due to take place literally the day after I finished reading this.If you are a Brit and a little bit left leaning, old enough to know Billy from his protest singer days with Red Wedge and before, you could really enjoy this book.
In which Billy Bragg, through the prism of his hometown of Barking and the preceding generations of his own family, reclaims St George's flag from the racist knuckleheads, for an England that is as inclusive and progressive as the levellers, chartists, socialists and other dissenters who left a deeper impression on the English character than the kings and queens who hog history's limelight.
enjoyed it. especially old bill's venture into the iron age archeology of essex, and the musical influences. its not as preachy as i thought it'd be, and better written. while i emotionally agree pretty much with his conclusions, and enjoyed the arguments, i'm not sure his main ideas are inescapable.
If you've ever seen Billy Bragg perform live, you know that his between song banterings are easily as entertaining and the music. Read this book aloud to yourself and you can hear Billy tell these stories. It's not just about the music that shaped his own sound, but about HIS vision of England and what it means to be English.
I was fan of Billy Bragg's music -- billybragg/ -- when I was a kid. So it was interesting for me to read this attempt by Bragg to reconcile his populist socialism with English patriotism. Probably have to be particularly interested in English identity politics or a Bragg fan to make this a worthwhile read, though.
Singer Billy Bragg writes about what it means to be English in today's world. He tackles racism, politics and national identity. It's part autobiography, part musical journey, part history lesson. What emerges is a thoughtful piece on our place in the world today.
Barely 50 pages of any real interest or entertainment, sandwiched between repetitive and unnecessary historical medieval background. A disappointment to those who already know anything at all about Billy Braggaplookingbooks
Uber political, even by my standards.
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