Peston wrote WTF because the election of Trump, the Corbyn surge and the vote for Brexit all challenged how he thought the world could and should be run. With characteristic passion and clarity, he looks at how and whether it is possible to make a success of leaving the EU, what the lessons should be of the appalling Grenfell Tower tragedy, whether robots can be stopped from taking our work, what can be done to staunch the widening gap between rich and poor, how to raise living standards for all and what must happen to prevent democracy being subverted by technocratic geniuses with the ability to manipulate social media.
These are the challenges of our age, because the combination of economic stagnation and a technological revolution is killing jobs, enriching the few and undermining the institutions we used to trust as the foundations of the state. What and whom can we believe when it is almost impossible to know whether posts on Facebook and Twitter are hard news or the fabrication of a Russian agent?
As in his best sellers, Who Runs Britain? and How Do We Fix This Mess?, Robert Peston draws on his years of experience as a political, economics and business journalist to show us what has gone bad and gives us a manifesto to put at least some of it right. WTF is a trenchant, often entertaining account of the recent past. It is also a call to action, giving hope to all of us who believe that taking back control is not only vital but possible.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Steve T on 24-11-17
Possibly the best non-fiction book of 2017
If you only read on non-fiction book this year, then make it this one. Elegantly and touchingly opened (and closed) as a letter to his dead father, it rolls out as a incisive look at how we, in Britain, have ended up with the mess we are in. The answers may surprise some; others may be shocked; some may deny his reasoning. Whichever side of the fence you sit, it is well written, well argued and, while self-flagellating at times, fairly strident in its conclusions and very interesting suggestions of how we might fix our broken system.
It is, though possible essential reading for anyone who is wondering: 'How did we get into this mess?'. I'd go as far as to say that any every teenager approaching their GCSEs should be made to read it - not least of all so they might not make the same mistakes when they come to vote and decide how our country is run. The section of how big money funded the very clever data-crunching to inform the use of social media in the Brexit leave campaign is with the cover rice alone. Read it and weep at mass manipulation by clever people with oodles of bits of data - it does make you stop and think about how our democracy is being eroded bit by bit.
Having not previously been a fan of Peston's broadcasting voice, I was deeply disappointed that he only narrates the opening and closing. That said, Luke Thompson does a brilliant job with the bulk of the book.
It might be seen as Peston's manifesto - and fair one it is at that. Some of the ideas for solutions in final chapter would do well to be be discussed at Govt level. I am now going to listen again to take in the bits I missed. For me, it's one of the most impactful and thought-provoking books I've read this year. I think I'm becoming a Peston fan...and I've changed my mind about his voice!
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
By Amazon Customer on 28-11-17
Loved it, but Robert Peston only reads the first and last chapters, so if (like me) you bought the audiobook for his unique command of the English language you may be a little disappointed.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful