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Angry White People

Angry White People

Hsiao-Hung Pai | Benjamin Zephaniah


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'An enlightening, thoughtful and intelligent study.'
The Independent

There is a new anger brewing in Britain. In the pubs and estates, the cafes and football stadiums, the mood is unsettled. People kick back increasingly against whoever or whatever is presented as the latest scapegoat.
Delving deep into the day-to-day of a marginalized section of the working class, Angry White People offers an unparalleled survey of this anxious, uncertain, febrile Britain. From the English Defence League (EDL) to UKIP activists, Hsiao-Hung Pai conducts a fantastically daring investigation. Amongst those she follows are Darren, a Lutonian who helped found the EDL but is now a dedicated anti-racist Labour activist, and Tommy Robinson, infamous founder of the EDL, whom Pai observes changing from a young, foul-mouthed kid to a suited-and-booted Oxford Union guest speaker and hate preacher.

Uncovering disturbing levels of racism in our society which must be confronted, Pai also identifies concerns arising from exclusion and inequality in a post-industrial economy. Angry White People is the essential account of social discontent in Britain today.

Hsiao-Hung Pai is a writer best known for her books Chinese Whispers: The True Story behind Britain’s Hidden Army of Labour, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Orwell Prize, and Scattered Sand: The Story of China’s Rural Migrants, which won the Bread and Roses Award in 2013. Pai’s third book, Invisible: Britain’s Migrant Sex Workers, was published in 2013. As part of her research for the book, Pai worked undercover as a maid in brothels all over the country. Pai’s first work of fiction, Hidden Army of Labour, was published in the Chinese language in Taiwan and China.

Pai has lived in the UK since 1991. She is a contributor to the Guardian and many UK-Chinese publications.

‘Pai should be congratulated for tackling the subject and doing it with courage and passion….[a] timely contribution.’
Times Literary Supplement

'An enlightening, thoughtful and intelligent study in what makes the far right tick, their political strategy and aims, and how they build support for them.'
The Independent

'The virtue of Pai’s work is that, because she has many conversations and reproduces them at length, complexity is conveyed… The malignity of those — a minority — in the white working class who are racist and violent should be exposed: Pai does that well.'
Financial Times

'Hsiao-Hung skilfully draws out the sense of abandonment by mainstream politicians that has led some people to support the EDL and others to favour the UK Independence Party….[the book] could form a useful basis for policy formation.'
New Statesman

'A remarkable book...patronising, hideously mistaken...metropolitan liberal...utterly incurious...dismissive...credulous...bone-headed…arrogant...absolutist.'
Rod Liddle, The Spectator

'A lucid account of a deluded movement….Hsiao-Hung Pai deserves high praise for going to some very dark places and bringing out invaluable information to aid the fight against racism and fascism.'
New Internationalist

'An important contribution to studies of far-right politics.'
LSE Review of Books

'[Pai] not only describes the origin of the EDL, what makes it tick and its relation to other far-right movements in Britain. She also daringly investigates the personal and societal circumstances that push many Britons to join their ranks. Her book is a true eye-opener and a reminder that much remains to be done.'
The World Today

'At a time when far-right politics are sweeping across Europe and beyond, this book provides an important insight into not only the likely driving forces behind such movements but also the effect they have on the mainstream.'
Left Foot Forward

'A hugely insightful account by one of the bravest contemporary journalists in the business.'
The Morning Star

'A valuable insight into the minds of people who choose to hate.'
Peace News

'An interesting and detailed insight into some of the some of the leading players in contemporary far-right movements in Britain.'
Muslim World Book Review

‘The biggest fear of all of the mainstream politicians is that we understand how much we have in common … Unity is strength, and we should get to a point where we are not talking about black rights or white rights, Asian rights or rights for migrant workers, we [should] just be talking about our rights.’
Benjamin Zephaniah, from the Foreword

‘With her calm and unflinching investigative journalism, Hsiao-Hung Pai sheds light on the dynamics of class and racism in Britain today. Essential reading for anybody interested in the contemporary far right, and what feeds it.’
Daniel Trilling, author of Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain’s Far Right

‘One of Britain’s best investigative journalists, Pai addresses a defining issue of our time: the nature of extremism. Driven by an unrelenting curiosity that takes her deep into the world of her subjects, the result is one of the finest accounts of the British far Right.’
Arun Kundnani, author of The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror

‘Hsiao-Hung Pai gives us a rich, complex picture of the "left behind" white voters and activists who have fuelled the resurgence of far right politics. Essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the economic, social and emotional forces which drive far right politics.’
Robert Ford, co-author of Revolt on the Right

‘A fascinating insight into the minds, motives and worldview of the EDL’
Wolfgang Deicke, Humboldt University Berlin

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Cover Cover
About the Author ii
Title iii
Copyright iv
Contents v
Acknowledgements vii
Abbreviations ix
Foreword by Benjamin Zephaniah xi
1: Born and Bred Here 1
2: Defending the Imaginary Nation 65
3: The Story of Bury Park 111
4: ‘The Edl Cannot Survive Here’ 151
5: The Changing Faces of the Radical Right 193
6: The Colours of British Racism 235
7: The New Outsiders 287
Afterword 359
Index 369