His last book The British Dream: David voted remain in the EU referendum and has been a mainly inactive member of the Labour Party since he was a student.
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In The Road to Somewhere , he transcends the rhetoric of populism and globalism to make a compelling case for a new vision of community. Its influence is visible everywhere. The Road to Somewhere has the feel of a book whose timing. If the leaders of Britain and the EU had read The Road to Somewhere twenty years ago, things might look very different today. Goodhart offers an impeccably sensible and decent exposition of how the political elites have failed their societies. The book makes compelling reading both for voters and those who want to get elected by them.
It may even be an incitement to independent thinking. He has been making these points for a decade and urging the mainstream to engage with them. He does not do fads. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.
Book Review: The Road to Somewhere, by David Goodhart
It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. He has been making these points for a decade and urging the mainstream to engage with them. He does not do fads. Its influence is visible everywhere. In a post-Brexit, post-Trump world, his voice deserves to be heard more than ever. In The Road to Somewhere , he transcends the rhetoric of populism and globalism to make a compelling case for a new vision of community. The Global Politics of Protest. Never shying away from difficult themes, Goodhart has the courage to challenge and where necessary dismantle liberal orthodoxies.
We all need to read this prescient, persuasive, discomforting book. In fact, they put a priority on stronger immigration controls and less immigration in general. I don't have any complaints about strong communities, but truthfully I can't say I spend a lot of time thinking about them, either.
Seems like a reasonable suggestion to even my very Anywhere self. He further suggests that research shows that stressing similarities rather than differences builds bridges across groups. I thought we knew that. But, I suppose that we don't always do a great job of bringing communities together for a common goal and I can't find anything to object to there either. So, ok, that's two I'm on board with. The UK and the US have really different histories, policies and practices when it comes to immigration. And his suggestion that they employ a national ID would probably rub a lot of people in the US on both the left and right wrong for about a million reasons.
The US already doesn't provide benefits to non-citizens mostly with few exceptions and clearly doesn't have the EU migration that the UK does. BUT we DO have a lot of immigration and we certainly have a lot of argument about that. Agriculture in the US particularly is effected by immigration as evidenced by lower migration from Mexico into CA and an increase in food prices because American's aren't willing to take the agriculture jobs.
This could be it's own book and I'm sure it is In any case, it's a very different situation even if there are very similar viewpoints on both sides of the pond. But where this book really challenged me is on gender roles and family life. I never wanted kids; I've always been focused on having a career. And even though I ended up with stepkids, I wasn't around when they were little and never had to deal with kids who weren't in school. What surprised me was a large majority of women report that they don't want to work full time while their kids are young and that having a family matters more than having a career especially for working class women.
I do not know these women. Even my friends who have kids and wanted families also wanted fulfilling jobs. If you had held a gun to my head I would never in a million years have guessed that a majority of women don't want to work when their kids are young and don't prioritize career. I also didn't know that the UK's tax code was so unfriendly to couples and stay at home parents. And I've watched a lot of clients with kids get more in tax refunds than they made in a year. Which is a rant that horrifies my lefty friends and amuses my conservative ones I find it personally abhorrent to subsidize having children.
Yes, I know I'm going to get hate mail for that comment. I understand the need to provide access to affordable health care, child care and housing. But in my heart I loathe tax breaks for kids I'd be happy to give ours up, too. That's my very 60s 2nd wave feminism coming through. Hey, we all have our unpopular and ungenerous viewpoints. That one is mine. In any case, this book was a slap across my face to think about how I see the world and remember that other viewpoints are equally valid and have good things that the world can benefit from.
And it was a check on my privilege to remember that not everyone has had the opportunities I have nor does everyone have their philosophy spouted back to them by politics and the media. We need to focus more on similarities than differences and find ways to build bridges so that not just the "best and brightest" have the opportunity to have happy, fulfilled lives.
BOOK REVIEW: The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics
Mar 27, Aloke marked it as to-read Recommended to Aloke by: Dec 08, Rosalind rated it it was ok Shelves: It's the kind of communities that people like to live in that has come under scrutiny in the wake of Brexit. Do they want to stay together in kin groups? Or do they prefer to cluster with others, wherever they may come from, who share their outlook. Since the referendum the country has divided into sharply divided camps. David Goodhart sees British society — perhaps one should say English "Man is a political animal," said Aristotle, by which he meant that humans like to live in communities.
David Goodhart sees British society — perhaps one should say English society as he does little more than pay lip service to Scotland — as split between Somewheres — those people in rural areas and smaller provincial and post-industrial towns whose loyalty is to a geographical location and kinship links, and Anywheres — those whose horizons have been expanded by education, travel and global communications.
It's the Anywheres, according to Goodhart, that form the elite, run the government whichever party is in power, control the media, set the agenda, and embrace a broader world where borders count for little more than a hindrance to global understanding and cooperation.
The Somewheres are the "left behind", those who have stood quietly by as the world changed around them and the old certainties were knocked from under their feet and have now risen up to say enough is enought. Goodhart seems to approve of the Somewheres. He sees them as standard-bearers for that bygone golden age which may never have happened when everybody looked out for everybody else, who were probably relatives anyway, where you learned to read and write and add up and then went into the local factory or down the local pit where you stayed, working your way up the ladder until if you were lucky you got your gold watch and a long-service certificate to put on the wall, and you only ventured to the the next town to find a nice girl to marry you couldn't run the risk of incest after all.
There's more than a whiff of the Noble Savage about his account; the author himself is not from such a background, he's the Eton-educated some of Philip Goodhart, the American-educated long-time Conservative MP for Beckenham and a thoroughly Establishment figure; a classic Anywhere in his own terms. Nevertheless he makes it clear in many subtle and not-so-subtle ways that he sees the Anywheres as shallow and self-centred. I do recognise the Somewheres he describes. It may be that my father was an Anywhere before his time; a bright working-class man who couldn't wait to get away from his stifling family, of which he was the black sheep, and his isolated, inward-looking shipyard town — one of the most heavily Brexit-voting in the country as it happens.
His family never forgave him for surviving the war in a reserved occupation while his elder brother got himself killed in Burma. Maybe I was born to be an Anywhere; my grandparents were always elderly people who lived a long way away. My Nanna, my mother's mother, used the occasional visits to repeat the curtain-twitching gossip of the street, not least the dubious doings of Mrs Kennedy and Mrs Dunphy who would always be outsiders in that milieu.
Nanna didn't like Catholics, or Irish people, or "darkies" — if my sister and I weren't well-behaved our Mam would run of with a Black Man! Somewheres are Ena Sharples tearing Elsie Tanner off a strip for being no better that she ought to be; they are the community enforcers who ensure that those who step beyond the narrow boundaries of decent social behaviour; they are the ones who accuse those who are bookish as I was of being hoity-toity and above themselves.
Book Review: The Road to Somewhere, by David Goodhart - From Poverty to Power
Above all they are people who need an "other" to hate. Goodhart picks up on this — after all, what's the point of circling the wagons if there's nobody to circle them against. There are a diminishing number who have clear memories of the war but Somewheres were brought up on that story: Britain stood alone against the Hun when all others had caved in, and Britain prevailed. So why have their leaders being cosying up to the German enemy for the last 45 years? It's no accident that in the digital forums where the more extreme Somewheres hang out, the EU is referred to as the "Fourth Reich".
It's not that Goodhart doesn't have a point. It exists and its right at the core of our country's problems right now, and Goodhart describes it effectively. The weakness of the book is where he takes it, Firmly adopting a somewhere stance and drawing largely on the reports of right-wing commentators without making much effort to find a balancing view, he blames the ills of society on everything that he sees as going wrong since the s — divorce and abortion reform and the Pill encouraging sexual freedom and taking women out of the home into the workplace, for example. Opening up higher education so encouraging young people to move away from their roots.
Above all, letting the dreaded "other" into the country and not showing clear favouritism towards the white folks in jobs, services and the allocation of housing. He never says as much but the pull-up-the-drawbridge, isolationist mentality is between the lines of every page, and it looks like political expediency rather than serious analysis. Jan 13, Raghu rated it really liked it. The year brought a couple of major shocks to liberals in Europe and the US who believe in greater integration of the world in social and economic terms.
Both events left the liberals angry and depressed. On Brexit, they, the Remainers, called the Leavers those who voted for Brexit The year brought a couple of major shocks to liberals in Europe and the US who believe in greater integration of the world in social and economic terms. On Brexit, they, the Remainers, called the Leavers those who voted for Brexit racist, small-minded, backward-looking and embodying the energy of the hatred.
There were even calls for the subversion of the democratic will. By and large, the tack that liberals took here was to denounce the Trump voter as an angry beast, racist and having a penchant for authoritarianism. It is not as though the US is alone in the triumph of the so-called populist politics. The UK and Europe have their fair share of the rise of populism as well. In India, we see the rise of sectarian right-wing nationalism raising its head successfully and securing the right to rule since Instead of dismissing the right-wing ascendency, it is important for liberals to get an understanding of this phenomena and apply correctives so that they are not shocked into disbelief yet again a few years from now.
It is accepted wisdom now that decades of Globalization has created great economic and cultural openness in the West, benefiting some sections and destabilizing others. Goodhart says that we must get beyond traditional dichotomies in our societies based on Left and Right to understand the Brexit vote.
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The Anywheres are those UK citizens who are university-educated, having skills valued by the globalized world and are employable anywhere in the EU. They are generally liberal and are comfortable with expanded immigration and see the world as their home rather than restrict themselves narrowly by nationalism. They often live away from where they were born or grew up. They are mobile and value autonomy and fluidity in their lives. In short, any place is home for them. In contrast, the Somewheres are UK citizens who may not be well educated and do not have the necessary skills to compete in the job market elsewhere in the EU.
They are more rooted and prioritise local group attachments and security. The InBetweens, as the name implies, are the ones who straddle the space between Anywheres and Somewheres. How does all this explain Brexit? The author says that the cause for Brexit is a sense of loss and alienation amongst the Somewheres in their own homelands.
It is an attempt to restore what has been lost over the past couple of decades since the neo-liberalism of Blair, Brown and Cameron. It sounds very much like the criticism of the Remainers that the Leavers are suffering from nostalgia for a past that is only in their minds. But Goodhart argues that the Somewheres are not complaining only about jobs and other material things. But I feel that Goodhart lets the Somewheres off easily when it comes to their vision for the future. Is it really possible to go back to the nostalgic economic and social past of Britain?
In all likelihood, restriction of mass immigration from Eastern Europe may only end up in a lower growth rate in the UK. Nor would abolishing gay marriages contribute to gaining skills necessary to prosper in the UK of the 21st century. Populist leaders like Modi of India and Donald Trump in the US have been successful in articulating what is wrong with the status quo.
But their alternate vision is woolly and flaky. They make big promises to their constituencies but are not able to follow through on their big promises, once in power. Even with Brexit, the surge of technology will continue inexorably and contribute to job losses of the kind that Somewheres want to have. This is surprising to me. They are powerful voices for the Somewheres, apart from many tabloids. Probably there are some radio and TV channels as well which are blatantly right-wing like similar ones in the US.
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In any case, both liberals and conservatives have confirmation bias and mostly read or watch only media that reinforces their biases. So, Somewheres find their voice in the media they follow just as Anywheres do with the Guardian.
- The Road to Somewhere by David Goodhart – a liberal’s rightwing turn on immigration.
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Very few Somewheres may read The Guardian for its political and social views. Overall I think this book is an important one because it draws the attention of Anywheres to the other half which has been left behind by globalization and the changing economy. It will help to restore some balance to the discussion in society between Anywheres, Somewheres and the InBetweens. A slightly miserly three stars. I enjoyed this book but not without criticism. Goodhart capitalises on this and fleshes out what are, by now, well-worn tropes. Goodhart argues that while the Anywheres have done a lot of good for society, their influence in the public sphere exceeds their number, trampling on Somewhere sensibilities breeding the discontent released in Britain in the form of the Brexit vote.
Principally, unfettered immigration or the notion that we have it is the key grievance of the Somewheres but divergence is also seen on education and the role of the family. As someone who ticks Anywhere boxes, I can admit that Goodhart makes some good points. The left means well but has failed to bring its core working class vote with it in the last 20 - 30 years and has overlooked their economic concerns.
The problem is, although Goodhart makes tame efforts at presenting some light and shade within the Anywhere and Somewhere groups, there is still a huge generalisation afoot. Most of the mainstream media represents Somewhere views with major political parties stricken in fear of the wrath of the Daily Mail. This can also form policy. Throughout the book, the Somewhere viewpoint is sentimentalised and regarded uncritically while the Anywheres are designated as the cause of all Somewhere problems.
The end result is a book which makes some valid points and is extremely readable but which comes across as clickbait for Anywheres who enjoy being provoked. And the greatest irony? This book will likely have an entirely Anywhere readership. Jul 28, Hilary Shearing rated it it was amazing. It's taken a time for me to finish this book.
Apart from the usual round of distractions, The Road to Somewhere is packed with appraisal, analysis, ideas, wide-ranging points of view and an extensive and impressive array of sources. This isn't a regular page-turner. Rather I found I'd embarked on a massive "stop and think hard" read, which means I've often been stuck on the same page for days, researching and reading alternative commentary about the particular issue that Goodhart was concentrati It's taken a time for me to finish this book.
Rather I found I'd embarked on a massive "stop and think hard" read, which means I've often been stuck on the same page for days, researching and reading alternative commentary about the particular issue that Goodhart was concentrating on and had succeeded in making me do the same.
Well written, knowledgeable and sometimes controversial, Goodhart discusses issues and asks questions that many within British political circles gloss over or ignore completely. If what's at stake following the UK referendum is not sufficiently clear, The Road to Somewhere will sort that out.