The Northern Question: A History of a Divided Country (Hardcover)

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A history of the UK’s regional inequalities, and why they matter

Differences between England’s North and South continue to shape national politics, from attitudes to Brexit and the electoral collapse of Labour’s ‘Red Wall’ to Whitehall’s experimentation with regional pandemic lockdowns. Why is this fault line such a persistent feature of the English landscape?

The Northern Question is a history of England seen in the unfamiliar light of a northern perspective. While London is the capital and the centre for trade and finance, the proclaimed leader of the nation, northern England has always seemed like a different country. In the nineteenth century its industrializing society appeared set to bring a political revolution down upon Westminster and the City. Tom Hazeldine recounts how subsequent governments put finance before manufacturing, London ahead of the regions, and austerity before reconstruction.

About the Author

Tom Hazeldine was born in Manchester in 1982. He studied at the University of York and Northwestern University, Illinois, and is now an editor at New Left Review. He lives in London.

Praise For…

“Compelling, rigorous and ambitious.”

“Hazeldine painstakingly recounts how successive twentieth-century governments sacrificed the North on the altar of sterling and the South East.”
Times Literary Supplement

“A lively, provocative and richly researched book. Tom Hazeldine shows that far from being marginal to British politics and culture, northern England has played a pivotal role in British history—and must be given serious consideration by the politicians of the future. Well-written and absorbing.”
—Selina Todd, author of Tastes of Honey and The People

“The definitive account of the historical importance of the North–South Divide. A masterly history of the shifting social forces shaped by this enduring fault-line.”
—Geoffrey Ingham, author of The Nature of Money and Capitalism Divided?

“The disparity between the North of England and the South East is a rich and tangled history. Hazeldine’s account is persuasive, and his long view is valuable. With real acuity, he highlights key differences in people’s ideas of political possibility.”
—John Harris, Guardian

“The first serious study of the social and historical fissure to appear in more than 30 years.”
Big Issue

“An expansive account of the north-south divide.”
—Lynsey Hanley , Financial Times

“Shunning simplifications and panegyrics, Hazeldine’s book is particularly strong on the postwar period, during which both Labour and Tory governments wrestled with the northern question and failed to provide an answer.”

“Deserve[s] a place on the bookshelves of any historian concerned with England.”
New Welsh Review

“Brilliant … [a] gripping, important, infuriating history.”

“A confident, synoptic book, taking on a thousand years of England’s North/South divide.”
—Owen Hatherley, Tribune

“A historical travelogue not for the politically faint-hearted.”
—Mark Perryman, Philosophy Football

“A historical travelogue not for the politically faint-hearted. ”
Mark Perryman, Philosophy Football

Product Details
ISBN: 9781786634061
ISBN-10: 1786634066
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: October 13th, 2020
Pages: 304
Language: English