Book Review: Chavs: The Demonization of The Working Class by Owen Jones

I had heard of the book Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones and was lucky enough to go see him speak at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas in 2013. I know I have a different interest in the way society works in the UK than the average person who will only be living here for 2-4 years but I thought I would tell you about this book anyway.

For this that do not know, chavs is a term that is often used to describe the types of people usually white lower or working class people that unfortunately that wear track suits and chains and other clothing usually displayed in American music videos.They are also usually also the people that get anti-social behavior order (ASBO) which is for being a nuisance.

Owen Jones is a political writer and he is a commuter for left-wing policies (way far more left than you will ever see in the US).

Chavs is a political book that goes through the issues that have come up after the closing of the mines in England and the society costs. While this might not be interesting to the common visitor, it is very important to understand because many Americans like Margaret Thatcher and are more prone to speak about their preference to the capitalist economic market. The people in the lower and working class are not usually fans of Margaret Thatcher as their communities have been left destitute and prone to unemployment because the industries that they used to work in have moved overseas and nothing has replaced them.

The book itself gives great historical reference to why things are the way that they are today. I found it interesting that before Margaret Thatcher two out of every five people used to live in a council house and now its one in every ten. Also you hear about the closing of the mines and the miner strikes but the news never really covers how the people were affected and how that affects the country. I can also see similarities to industrial cities in the United States and the issues seen there today. It allowed me to understand a section of England that I could not find in one place like this book does.

If you like politics and history or want to understand how things work in another country read this book. It is an easy read but really gets to the point. but I am a fan of Owen Jones and follow his articles which can be fond in both The Guardian and The Independent. 

I just thought I would put it out there!

All the Best!

American to Britain