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A Short History of Brexit

From Brentry to Backstop

Kevin O'Rourke author


Publisher:Penguin Books Ltd

Published:3rd Oct '19


Available for immediate dispatch.

A Short History of Brexit cover

A succinct, expert Pelican history of the most contentious issue of our time.

'Crisp, clear and quietly devastating' Guardian
'Excellent, authoritative, highly readable' Irish Times

A succinct, expert guide to how we got to Brexit

After all the debates, manoeuvrings, recriminations and exaltations, Brexit is upon us. But, as Kevin O'Rourke writes, Brexit did not emerge out of nowhere: it is the culmination of events that have been under way for decades and have historical roots stretching back well beyond that. Brexit has a history.

O'Rourke, one of the leading economic historians of his generation, explains not only how British attitudes to Europe have evolved, but also how the EU's history explains why it operates as it does today - and how that history has shaped the ways in which it has responded to Brexit. Why are the economics, the politics and the history so tightly woven together? Crucially, he also explains why the question of the Irish border is not just one of customs and trade, but for the EU goes to the heart of what it is about. The way in which British, Irish and European histories continue to interact with each other will shape the future of Brexit - and of the continent.

Calm and lucid, A Short History of Brexit rises above the usual fray of discussions to provide fresh perspectives and understanding of the most momentous political and economic change in Britain and the EU for decades.

Valuable on the backstory is Kevin O'Rourke's A Short History of Brexit (Pelican). As an Irish historian who divides his time between a French village and All Souls College, Oxford, O'Rourke is a quintessential Remainer; but he's not blind to the EU's supranational ambitions. -- Political Books of the Year * Prospect *
He recounts the history of British involvement with Europe over the last 60 years with unique concision and clarity. He searches for the motivations behind the Brexit vote, parsing arguments that it was the inevitable result of structural economic factors, that it stemmed from a misplaced backlash against rising inequality, or that it was just a fluke brought about by political miscalculation and opportunism. Ever the professor, O'Rourke hints that all these views contain some truth. -- Andrew Moravcsik * Foreign Affairs *
Crisp, clear and quietly devastating -- Fintan O'Toole * Guardian *
A handy primer on the events and undercurrents that led to our present discontent -- Stephen Bush * Observer *
An excellent and authoritative exploration of the roads to Brexit, one that is erudite, rigorous and highly readable -- Tony Connelly * Irish Times *
Unravells the long strands of history that have led to Brexit and its current complications ... he illuminates not only the Irish problem, but the entirety of Britain's strange, ambivalent relationship with the EU -- Martha Gill * Times Literary Supplement *
a very readable account of how we got here - including contemporary issues such as the financial crash and the refugee crisis, and longer-term factors such as British attitudes to free trade, parliamentary sovereignty and empire -- Gideon Rachman * Financial Times Books of the Year *

ISBN: 9780241398234

Dimensions: 181mm x 111mm x 23mm

Weight: 231g

400 pages