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In a little over a generation the bones and sinews of the British ecomy - rail, energy, water, postal services, municipal housing - have been sold to remote, unaccountable private owners. In a series of brilliant portraits James Meek shows how Britain's common wealth became private, and the impact it has had on us all. In a series of paramic accounts, Meek explores the human stories behind the incremental privatization of the nation over the last three decades. As our national assets are being sold, the new buyers reap the rewards, and the ordinary consumer is left to pay the ever rising bill. Urgent, powerfully written and deeply moving, Private Island is a passionate anatomy of the state of the nation for readers of Chavs and Whoops!
James Meek is a contributing editor of the London Review of Books. He is the author of six novels that have published in the UK, US, France and Germany, including The People's Act of Love, that was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and won the Ondaatje Prize and Scottish Arts Council Award. We are Now Beginning our Descent won the 2008 Le Prince Maurice Prize and The Heart Broke In was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa Prize. In 2004 he was named the foreign correspondent of the year by the British Press Awards and he contributes regularly to the Guardian, New York Times and International Herald Tribune. www.jamesmeek.net