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Summary

In modern Britain, the working class has become an object of fear and ridicule. From Little Britain's Vicky Pollard to the demonization of Jade Goody, media and politicians alike dismiss as feckless, criminalized and ignorant a vast, underprivileged swathe of society whose members have become stereotyped by one, hate-filled word: chavs. In this acclaimed investigation, Owen Jones explores how the working class has gone from 'salt of the earth' to 'scum of the earth.' Exposing the ignorance and prejudice at the heart of the chav caricature, he portrays a far more complex reality. The chav stereotype, he argues, is used by governments as a convenient fig leaf to avoid genuine engagement with social and economic problems and to justify widening inequality. When Chavs was first published in 2011 it opened up the discussion of class in Britain. Then, in the public debate after the riots of that summer, Owen Jones's thesis was proved right - the working class were the scapegoats for everything that was wrong with Britain. This new edition includes a new chapter, reflecting on the overwhelming response to the book and the situation in Britain today.

©2016 Owen Jones (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 07-04-17

A really good listen, and do right in many ways

I had never thought about the class war happening in the UK before but this throws it into sharp relief. A great listen, but does start to feel it is hammering the same point over and over. But it's an important point.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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The excessive accents actually harm the point

Overall I found it interesting and engaging (down right infuriating when u think of the injustice).
I found a bit of repetitiveness- the main points were reintroduced and no further insight was provided.
Finally, the actor is harming the book and the points it makes. Excessive and unneeded use of northern accents throughout (as examples of working class, while Conservative representatives were presented as talking with no accents at all?!- a thing I found unpleasant

21 of 28 people found this review helpful

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Delighted this is finally on Audible!

What did you like most about Chavs?

A useful retrospective of Britain at the point this book came out (which important forewords to update) covering some things that are still fresh in my memory and others I had forgotten.

What did you like best about this story?

After reading The Establishment when it came out, I especially liked this book as an insight into Jones' earlier work and the evolution of his views.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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We all need to read this

Many things left of centre but food for thought
I am from an inner city council estate in the 70s
I honestly believe the kids growing up now do not have the chances that my generation had , books like this highlight the need for us all to get a heart

12 of 17 people found this review helpful

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terrible sound level - way too low

terrible sound level - way too low.
terrible sound level - way too low.
terrible sound level - way too low

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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See politics for what it truly is!

A very well written, interesting take on the last 30 years of politics and a lasting legacy of Maggie Thatcher.
Essentially it explains that if you give people jobs and housing, then society will be better for everybody including the elite. Trouble is, the elite want to take everything and therefore we all suffer. Time to rally the troops!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Just ok

I didn't love this book. I bought it thinking it may have some interesting insights. I found it overwhelming negative and one sided. The author is clear on who is to blame for the fall of the working class and I just felt like the book was one big 'blame the rich, blame the bankers' session - the hymn sheet of the populist hard left. I further suspect many of the facts laid out by the author were cherry picked /narrowly focused to support his arguments, though he wouldn't be first writer to do that. The book just made me long for the days where centre right or left was the norm, not the exception.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A must read!

A book with more than a ring of truth about it! Read this book if you want to know how this country got into the mess it is in!

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Childishly Naive

It is unfortunate that the argument that reduced social support leading to greater inequality has a social cost is lost in this naive and juvenile book on class war.

Anyone looking for a balanced view of the costs and challenges of our current social policy should look away as this is a schoolboy rant of envy against simplified good vs bad views of British society.

Not worth the effort. The issues are real but this book is not.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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War On The Poor

More evidence of how the 1% control and influence the 99% of the population and sustain the status quo!!!!!

8 of 15 people found this review helpful