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This work is like catnip for Anglophiles, but I hope it gets a wider hearing. The author's love for England, the very soil and the virtues of its people, is touching. He recognizes what is beautiful in what is small, and personal. And he sees a connection from that to the overarching events of cultural brilliance that England has had, age after age.
I regret that, in my academic environment, those with too-common half-wits have managed to read a few sources and thereupon to close minds and to choose sides too hastily, maintaining staunchly that either (1) such an empire was merely a vampire (and that it admittedly was, in part) or else (2) it was the most perfectly good thing ever (and all the disaffected should doff hats reverently, take their scraps humbly, and never question that). This work definitely comes down on the pro-England side (and I would say, England as it was from the mossy primordial past through, say, Churchill), but with a sincerity and a clear telling. I happen to agree that such things as the Magna Carta and the Common Law were momentous and critical moments in the rise of humankind, still resonating (hopefully, into the future too) across our lives, and however dimly perceived, into our every day. And I think, for humankind's sake and England's, this bears repeating. I like that a book takes this view into the present, trying times, in the hands of a very bright author.
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