A Spectator, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, Guardian, Observer, and Independent Best Book of the Year
A major bestseller in the UK and a six-time Best Book of 2014, The Establishment is a sweeping look at how power and money have made British politics hugely undemocratic. Power, money, and undemocratic politics—wait, does that sound familiar?
Who wields power in politics? It is a question that’s asked all too often—and never really answered. But that’s exactly what Owen Jones has done in The Establishment, which has already taken Great Britain by storm. To expose the shadowy and unaccountable network of people who dominate British political life—the people who influence major decisions and reap huge profits in the process—Owen Jones sets out on a journey into the very heart of the elite.
From the lobbies of the Houses of Parliament to Rupert Murdoch’s newsrooms to the conference rooms of some of the world’s biggest banks, Jones systematically explores the revolving doors that link the worlds of politics, media, and finance—and shows how this corrupt and incestuous world came to be.
Funny, sharp, and rich with brilliant descriptions of the men and women at the heart of the elite, The Establishment is a joy to read, but its diagnosis is deadly serious: the establishment is the biggest threat to democracy today. And it’s time, writes Jones, for it to be challenged.
“[A] vigorous polemic on the makeup of England’s ruling elite, with eerie parallels to the inequality in the United States…. An invigorating book.”
“I’ll never look at UK class politics in the same way after Owen Jones’s bracing and principled The Establishment.”—Naomi Klein, Guardian Books of the Year
“Owen Jones displays a powerful combination of cool analysis and fiery anger in this dissection of the profoundly and sickeningly corrupt state that is present-day Britain. He is a fine writer, and this is a truly necessary book.”—Philip Pullman
“This is the most important book on the real politics of the UK in my lifetime, and the only one you will ever need to read. You will be enlightened and angry.”—Irvine Welsh
“Our generation’s Orwell.”—Russell Brand
“An eye-opening state-of-the-nation book.”—Armando Iannucci, New Statesman Books of the Year
“I am delighted to see social class storm its way back into our contemporary history: Owen Jones’s The Establishment offers a well-documented as well as searing critique of the groupthink that binds together our rulers.”
—David Kynaston, Guardian Books of the Year
“Thorough and admirably vivid . . . [Jones] is excellent on how the state has become a creature of capital, controlled by the corporate sector. As Jones shows, British capitalism is highly dependent on state largesse and rich corporations are the biggest scroungers of all.”—New Statesman
“Powerful . . . The book’s great strength lies in the simple power of accumulation. Again and again, Jones connects the dots in parallel lines, so that the single examples that might in themselves be dismissed as circumstantial or overblown become more or less unanswerable . . . He is a writer of real rhetorical force.”—Independent
“A passionate account of political and economic injustice.”—Observer
“A book of revelations . . . The last time the British Establishment was so intertwined, so arrogant and so powerful was a century ago, and the last democratic revolution that redistributed wealth took a lifetime to play out.”—Times Higher Education Supplement
“The breadth of Jones’s research is impressive . . . Jones ultimately sees his Establishment not as the guardians of British values but as a threat to them.”—Evening Standard