Kate Fox's brilliant idea is to treat the British as another tribe...where she's particularly astute is in examining the exact pattern of clichés. Any study of the English must cover our class obsession, and Fox deals with the subject thoroughly.
If you like this kind of anthropology (and I do) there is a wealth of it to enjoy in this book. Her observations are acute... fortunately she doesn't write like an anthropologist but like an English woman - with amusement, not solemnity, able to laugh at herself as well as us.
I loved the section on mobile-phone etiquette. Shrewd...I liked the chapter on English humour. This is an entertaining, clever book. Do read it and then pass it on.
She has not only compiled a comprehensive list of English qualities, she has examined them in depth and wondered how we came to acquire them. Her book is a delightful read.
An absolutely brilliant examination of English culture and how foreigners take as complete mystery the things we take for granted.
Brilliant and hilarious
I read it cover to cover in a few days . . . very sharp and witty prose. It really is funny - the sort of humour that makes you laugh out loud on your own!
She is the only popular UK anthropologist of substance since the 1970s.
She's a witty and eloquent writer whose accessible book reads as a scholarly classification of our shared codes of behaviour and an affectionate homage to our foibles.
It is consistently the most popular text I teach, not only because it's a hilarious page-turner but also because Fox offers truly insightful glimpses into what a sophisticated anthropological mindset can reveal about human cultural life . . . Watching the English embodies the anthropological credo of making the strange familiar and the familiar strange.