The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British
Title: The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British
Author: Sarah Lyall
An American “New York Times” reporter known for her lighthearted dispatches on her adopted home in London shares whimsical observations about Tony Blair’s New Labor government and its interrelation with old-world and modern cultural values.
Dispatches from the new Britain: a slyly funny and compulsively readable portrait of a nation finally refurbished for the twenty-first century.
Sarah Lyall, a reporter for the New York Times, moved to London in the mid-1990s and soon became known for her amusing and incisive dispatches on her adopted country. As she came to terms with its eccentric inhabitants (the English husband who never turned on the lights, the legislators who behaved like drunken frat boys, the hedgehog lovers, the people who extracted their own teeth), she found that she had a ringside seat at a singular transitional era in British life. The roller-coaster decade of Tony Blair’s New Labor government was an increasingly materialistic time when old-world symbols of aristocratic privilege and stiff-upper-lip sensibility collided with modern consumerism, overwrought emotion, and a new (but still unsuccessful) effort to make the trains run on time. Appearing a half-century after Nancy Mitford’s classic Noblesse Oblige, Lyall’s book is a brilliantly witty account of twenty-first-century Britain that will be recognized as a contemporary classic.
“The Anglo Files> should be handed out, as a public service, in the immigration line at Heathrow.” -Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink
“When Sarah Lyall married an Englishman and moved to London ten years ago, few around her realized she was a modern-day Tocqueville—otherwise they would have been much more guarded. The happy result is The Anglo Files, a razor-sharp, hilarious, wickedly insightful, decidedly biased account of Everything British.”— Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair
“Superb social and cultural anthropology by a reporter who has lived among her subjects without losing her sense of wonder for them. Imagine Margaret Mead channeling Jon Stewart and you have Sarah Lyall.”—Eric Lax, author of Conversations with Woody Allen
“Sarah Lyall brings all the virtues of the best American journalism, including accuracy, to the task of analysing all the vices of British society, including hypocrisy, venality and hopeless confusion about sex. She will now be hailed as one of England’s supreme analysts, preparatory to her being executed on Tower Green.”—Clive James, author of Cultural Amnesia
“For years now Sarah Lyall has been the wittiest observer of the English and their curious habits. Now she’s written a book that takes her game to an entirely new level. It’s funny, it’s delightful and anyone with even a passing interest in these strange people should read it.” -Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball
“By turns wry, mordant, affectionate, bitter and sweet. I never miss any of her dispatches because, while they manage to remind me why I left, they also contrive to make me feel occasionally homesick.” -Christopher Hitchens, author of God Is Not Great