In this remarkable and highly original book Philip Manow shows that the body politic, though so often pronounced dead, remains alive in modern democracies. It is just one of the many ideas that we have inherited from our predecessors and that continue to shape our modern forms of political life. Why did the semi-circle become the main seating plan for modern parliaments? Why do we think that parliament should mirror the diversity of society? Why does the president's motorcade always have more than one identical-looking Cadillac? Why do we pay so much attention to the physical features and appearance - the body - of our political leaders today? In answering these and other questions Manow sheds fresh light on the pre-modern origins of our modern political institutions and practices and shows convincingly that all political power - including democracy - requires and produces its own political mythology.
This is not a call for the monarchy’s abolition by fiat; illusions cannot be abolished. This is an invitation to think.
In this scathing essay, Christopher Hitchens looks at the relationship of the press and the public to the royal family, unpacking the tautology and contradictory arguments that prop it up. In his inimitable style, Hitchens argues that our desire not to profane or disturb the monarchy is a failure of reason and a confusion of reality. Fealty to the magic of monarchy stops us looking objectively at our own history and hinders open-minded criticism of our present. It is time we outgrew it.
With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee upon us, during a time of recession, high unemployment and national debt, Hitchens’ 10,000-word critique is even more relevant today than when it was first published in 1990.
Part of the Brain Shots series, the pre-eminent source for high quality, short-form digital non-fiction.
'Christopher is one of the most terrifying rhetoricians that the world has yet seen.' Martin Amis
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