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Stiff Upper Lip

Stiff Upper Lip

This is the story of generations of parents, Britain’s richest and grandest, who believed that being miserable at school was necessary to make a good and successful citizen. Childish suffering was a price they accepted for the preservation of their class, and their entitlement. The children who were moulded by this misery and abuse went on – as they still do – to run Britain’s public institutions and private companies.

Confronting the truth of his own schooldays and the crimes he witnessed, Alex Renton has revealed a much bigger story. It is of a profound malaise in the British elite, shown up by tolerance of the abuse of its own children that amounts to collusion. This culture and its traditions, and the hypocrisy, cronyism and conspiracy that underpin them, are key to any explanation of the scandals over sexual abuse, violence and cover-up in child care institutions that are now shocking the nation.

As Renton shows, complicity in this is the bleak secret at the heart of today’s British elite.

Read by David Thorpe.

(p) 2017 Orion Publishing Group
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Genre: Society & Social Sciences / Politics & Government

On Sale: 13th April 2017

Price: £19.99

ISBN-13: 9781409160939

Reviews

Brilliantly deconstructs the myth of the British stiff upper lip
Rod Liddle
Personal revelations are expertly woven into interview material, social history and theorising by psychologists and other writers ... Renton deserves praise and attention for disturbing our equanimity about this tradition
Miranda Green, FINANCIAL TIMES
Stiff Upper Lip kept me absolutely enthralled ... Even if you never went near a public school, the book is a phenomenal read: it kept me up all night
George Hook, NEWSTALK
Impressive in its breadth and depth
Harry Hodges, DAILY EXPRESS
Quite breathtaking ... If you want to understand anything about institutional abuse it is required reading
James O’Brien, LBC
Stiff Upper Lip is shocking, gripping and sobering
Rupert Christiansen, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
Enormously valuable
John Preston, DAILY MAIL
Renton has the thirst for truth, and for exposing depravity, of a Gitta Sereny
Ysenda Maxtone-Graham, THE TIMES
A thoughtful and sensitive indictment of one of the cornerstones of the British establishment
Andrew Anthony, OBSERVER
Gruelling and gripping
William Moore, EVENING STANDARD
At last, a scrupulously honest insight into private boarding education in Britain - ranging from the abuse to which it subjects the child, and the family, to the abuse of Britain's social order in laying the foundation to buying your child's way to the top
Jon Snow
Stiff Upper Lip is a furious, closely researched polemic against boarding school
James Fergusson, COUNTRY LIFE
This is a well-researched study, which draws on a variety of historical sources in addition to some searing near-contemporary accounts of childhood unhappiness and its long-lasting effects
Nicholas Tucker, THE TABLET
This is a fascinating book
Ian Irvine, PROSPECT
Grimly absorbing
NEW STATESMAN
Renton mixes memoir and anecdote with deeply researched history... this is a brave and necessary book
Sam Leith, GUARDIAN
[A] masterful expose of private school perversion
Sam Kiley, SKY NEWS