Chums (Hardback)

How a Tiny Caste of Oxford Tories Took Over the UK

Simon Kuper

Power. Privilege. Parties. It's a very small world at the top.

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

Power. Privilege. Parties.
It's a very small world at the top.

'Brilliant ... traces Brexit back to the debating chambers of the Oxford Union in the 1980s' James O'Brien

'A searing onslaught on the smirking Oxford insinuation that politics is all just a game. It isn't. It matters' Matthew Parris

'A sparkling firework of a book' Lynn Barber, Spectator

'Exquisite and depressing in equal measure' Matthew Syed, Sunday Times

Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, David Cameron, George Osborne, Theresa May, Dominic Cummings, Daniel Hannan, Jacob Rees-Mogg: Whitehall is swarming with old Oxonians. They debated each other in tutorials, ran against each other in student elections, and attended the same balls and black tie dinners.

They aren't just colleagues - they are peers, rivals, friends. And, when they walked out of the world of student debates onto the national stage, they brought their university politics with them.

Eleven of the fifteen postwar British prime ministers went to Oxford. In Chums, Simon Kuper traces how the rarefied and privileged atmosphere of this narrowest of talent pools - and the friendships and worldviews it created - shaped modern Britain.

A damning look at the university clique-turned-Commons majority that will blow the doors of Westminster wide open and change the way you look at our democracy forever.

Publication date: 28/04/2022

£16.99

ISBN: 9781788167383

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Current Affairs, Politics & Economics

Chums (Ebook)

How a Tiny Caste of Oxford Tories Took Over the UK

Simon Kuper

Power. Privilege. Parties. It's a very small world at the top.

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

Power. Privilege. Parties.
It's a very small world at the top.

'Brilliant ... traces Brexit back to the debating chambers of the Oxford Union in the 1980s' James O'Brien

'A searing onslaught on the smirking Oxford insinuation that politics is all just a game. It isn't. It matters' Matthew Parris

'A sparkling firework of a book' Lynn Barber, Spectator

'Exquisite and depressing in equal measure' Matthew Syed, Sunday Times

Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, David Cameron, George Osborne, Theresa May, Dominic Cummings, Daniel Hannan, Jacob Rees-Mogg: Whitehall is swarming with old Oxonians. They debated each other in tutorials, ran against each other in student elections, and attended the same balls and black tie dinners.

They aren't just colleagues - they are peers, rivals, friends. And, when they walked out of the world of student debates onto the national stage, they brought their university politics with them.

Eleven of the fifteen postwar British prime ministers went to Oxford. In Chums, Simon Kuper traces how the rarefied and privileged atmosphere of this narrowest of talent pools - and the friendships and worldviews it created - shaped modern Britain.

A damning look at the university clique-turned-Commons majority that will blow the doors of Westminster wide open and change the way you look at our democracy forever.

Publication date: 28/04/2022

£13.99

ISBN: 9781782838180

ISBN 10 / ASIN: B09FRTF8BT

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Current Affairs, Politics & Economics

Reviews for Chums

'A searing onslaught on the smirking Oxford insinuation that politics is all just a game. It isn't. It matters'

Matthew Parris 

'A gripping read ... exquisite and depressing in equal measure'

Matthew Syed Sunday Times

'A sparkling firework of a book'

Lynn Barber Spectator

'Incisive, insightful and timely'

Richard Beard New Statesman

'Fascinating ... The picture Kuper draws is of a nation with a decadent and deeply unprofessional ruling class, a diagnosis with which it is impossible to disagree'

Hugo Rifkind Times

'Immensely entertaining ... a tremendous romp jam-packed with delicious indiscretions'

Tim Luckhurst Daily Mail

'A brilliant book'

John Harris Guardian Weekly Politics podcast

'A penetrating analysis of the connections that enabled an incestuous university network to dominate Westminster and give birth to Brexit ... perceptive and full of surprises'

Tim Adams Observer

'Johnson, Cameron, Rees-Mogg, Gove and Cummings all feature in this look at the hidden depths of our current political establishment and its inextricable link to Eton and, in particular, Oxford University'

50 Best Books for Summer 2022 Sunday Times

'Shows how the culture of Oxford decisively influenced the tone of British politics and led to Brexit. Brilliantly written, it gripped me'

Paschal Donohoe Irish Times

'Kuper is alert to the deficiencies of the Oxford Union style, the tendency to substitute some glib debating point for hard-headed analysis ... Engagingly brief with delightful details'

Andrew Gimson Conservative Home

'Intellectually bracing ... a deep dive into the culture of the upper-crust public schools and university that produced ten of the UK's 15 post-war prime ministers'

Andrew Lynch Business Post

'Elegant, witty, economical ... it is absurd how much influence this tiny, moneyed circle has been able to wield, and deeply depressing'

Zoe Williams TLS

'Chums is not just about the smallness of Britain's privileged elite or the early advantages it enjoys. Simon Kuper goes further ... to critique a system that attaches more importance to winning debates than shaping policy'

Mike Phipps Labour Hub

'

Praise for The Happy Traitor:

Kuper provides a different and valuable perspective, humane and informative

'

John Le Carré 

'Truly enthralling ... a deeply human read, wonderfully written, on the foibles of a fascinating, flawed, treacherous and sort of likeable character'

Philippe Sands 

'The most comprehensive and insightful biography to date'

Ben Macintyre 

Simon Kuper

Simon Kuper

Simon Kuper is a British author and journalist for the Financial Times. Kuper was born in Uganda of South African parents in 1969, and moved to the Netherlands as a child. He studied History and German at Oxford University, and attended Harvard University as a Kennedy Scholar. He has written for the Observer, The Times and the Guardian, and also writes regularly for Dutch newspapers. He lives in Paris with his family.