A robust and timely investigation into the political and moral fault-lines that divide Brexit Britain and Trump's America -- and how a new settlement may be achieved.
Several decades of greater economic and cultural openness in the West have not benefited all our citizens. Among those who have been left behind, a populist politics of culture and identity has successfully challenged the traditional politics of Left and Right, creating a new division: between the mobile "achieved" identity of the people from Anywhere, and the marginalized, roots-based identity of the people from Somewhere. This schism accounts for the Brexit vote, the election of Donald Trump, the decline of the center-left, and the rise of populism across Europe.
Members of the 'Anywhere' class dominate our culture and society. They tend to do well at school, then usually move from home to a boarding university in their late teens and on to a career in the professions that might take them to a capital city or even abroad for a year or two. Such people have portable 'achieved' identities, based on educational and career success, which makes them generally comfortable with new places and people.
The "Somewhere" people are by definition more rooted and have ascribed identities based on group belonging and particular places, which is why they often find rapid change disturbing. One core group of Somewheres are often "left behind" - mainly older white working class men with little education. They have lost economically with the decline of well paid jobs for people with little education and culturally, too, with the disappearance of a distinctive working-class culture and the marginalization of their social conservatism in the public conversation. However Somewhere ambivalence about recent social trends spreads far beyond this core group and is shared by many in all social classes.
The broad ideology of Anywhere people can be characterized as "progressive individualism." By contrast, the Somewheres are more socially conservative by instinct. This book will contend that the Anywhere people have counted for too much in the past generation and populist movements, such as the Tea Party, have emerged in part as a democratic counter-balance to that dominance. In a democracy the Somewheres cannot, however, be ignored.
About the Author
David Goodhart is the founding editor of Prospect magazine and one of the most distinctive voices on British politics today. He is currently head of the Demography, Immigration and Integration Unit at the think tank Policy Exchange, and was previously director of the center-left think tank Demos. His last book The British Dream: Successes and Failures of Post-War Immigration (2013) was runner-up for the Orwell Prize in 2014 and was a finalist for "Political Book of the Year" in the Paddy Power Political Book Awards. David voted remain in the EU referendum and has been a mainly inactive member of the Labour Party since he was a student.
'Goodhart offers an impeccably sensible and decent exposition of how the political elites have failed their societies ... The book makes compelling reading both for voters and those who want to get elected by them.' * Max Hastings, The Sunday Times *
'[Goodhart] has written a book that is thoughtful, well argued and dangerously moderate. It may even be an incitement to independent thinking.' * The Times *
'[A] provocative take on the UK's new tribal divisions ... The Road to Somewhere has the feel of a book whose timing ... is pitch-perfect.' * Andrew Marr, New Statesman *
'Goodhart's exploration of this underlying divide -- and the question of what might be done -- is not only timely but also offers an accessible, evidence-based and direct account of how these conflicts are reshaping the political world around us.' -- Matthew Goodwin, Financial Times
'Whatever other objections Goodhart's new book might provoke, few could call it irrelevant or untimely ... he returns to this most vexed terrain, picking his way through nettles and thorns that might deter thinner-skinned writers.' * Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian *
'It's a thought-provoking introduction to the deep regional divides exposed by the vote to leave the EU.' -- The Guardian
'Goodhart has clarity of argument and courage. He has been making these points for a decade and urging the mainstream to engage with them. He does not do fads.' * The Observer *
'A thought-provoking analysis of the social division between footloose, educated "Anywheres" and socially and geographically rooted "Somewheres" -- a cleavage that Goodhart argues is driving the rise of populism in the UK and Europe.' -- Gideon Rachman, The Financial Times
'[Goodhart] has written what may turn out to be the most sympathetic and insightful book about Britain's discontented masses.' * Toby Young, The Spectator *
'Mr Goodhart's book seems likely to inform the debate on what post-Brexit Britain should look like.' * The Economist *
'Mr Goodhart's book seems likely to inform the debate on what post-Brexit Britain should look like.' -- The Economist
'This book is timely . . . Goodhart poses the right questions.' -- Foreign Affairs
'This meticulously researched book ... enables us to imagine Brexit as a moment that could just prove to be the start of a national renewal.' * Prospect *
'Combines fluent, broad-brush passages with technical details ... The tone of what Goodhart has to say is as important as his message. ... [His] book is a treasure-trove of striking facts. ... we need to address the issues he raises.' -- Literary Review
'[T]here is a heap of generosity and sense in this book ... Most winning of all is [Goodhart's] affection for the ordinary that is the essence of a Somewhere outlook; that ability to rate something, even, or especially, when it is actually perfectly average.' -- Tribune
'Challenging and illuminating.' * Will Hutton *
'David Goodhart offers the best and most complete explanation I've seen for why things seem to be coming apart in so many countries at the same time.' * Jonathan Haidt, author of 'The Righteous Mind' *
'Advocating from a left-of-center stance, Goodhart advises the dominant liberal class to address the resistance to the perceived challenge to identity and rootedness lest the populists make ever greater political gains.' -- R. P. Peters, Senior Lecturer of Political Science, Univeristy of Massachusetts, Associate of Harvard University's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, CHOICE