Author: Kamal Ahmed
About the book:
A revealing, honest and often comic coming-of-age story about growing up in 1970s Britain on the boundaries of race Kamal Ahmed's childhood was very `British' in every way - except for the fact that he was brown. Half English, half Sudanese, he was raised in 1970s London at a time when being mixed-race meant being told to go home, even when you were born just down the road. The Life and Times of a Very British Man makes the case for a new conversation about race in Britain through personal stories, political analysis and passionate belief in the ultimate good of this country - white, black and brown. Kamal recounts the extraordinary circumstances that led to his father, a proud Sudanese scientist, marrying his mother, a grammar-school educated woman from Yorkshire - and the first white person he had ever met. It was a time when wearing a miniskirt was an act of social rebellion, when `niggers' and `coloureds' still formed part of the national lexicon and when Enoch Powell's infamous `Rivers of Blood' speech cast a shadow over the childhood of a schoolboy in Ealing. Witty and humane, this is a modern state-of-the-nation from a man who adopted the name Neil growing up (it was better than 'camel') and went on to occupy one of the most elite positions in the British establishment. It is also a call to recognise that this very British mix is the foundation for Britain as we know it - from Linford Christie taking Olympic gold to the era-defining music of Soul II Soul - and a study of why, when we consider the often fractious debate about our identity, there are still great grounds for optimism.
About the author:
Kamal Ahmed is Economics Editor of the BBC and one of Britain's most respected journalists. He joined the BBC in April 2014 as Business Editor after a twenty-year career in newspapers. He has worked for the Guardian, the Observer and the Sunday and Daily Telegraph. He started his career in local newspapers in Scotland and subsequently worked for Scotland on Sunday. He has also served as Group Director of Communications for the Equality and Human Rights Commission and is a board member of the Media Trust. He lives in London.
Giving this book as a present? We can include a personal message from you, handwritten on one of our illustrated Heywood Hill postcards free of charge. Write your message in the 'notes' box at the checkout. If you would like the book gift-wrapped in our famous livery, also free of charge, just let us know.