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Written as an act of protest in a Welsh-speaking community in north-west Wales, Why Wales Never Was combines a devastating analysis of the historical failure of Welsh nationalism with an apocalyptic vision of a non-Welsh future. It is the ‘progressive’ nature of Welsh politics and the ‘empire of the civic’, which rejects both language and culture, that prevents the colonised from rising up against his colonial master. Wales will always be a subjugated nation until modes of thought, dominant since the nineteenth century, are overturned.
Originally a comment on Welsh acquiescence to Britishness at the time of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the book’s emphasis on the importance of European culture is a parable for Brexit times. Both deeply rooted in Welsh culture and European in scope, Why Wales Never Was brings together history, philosophy and politics in a way never tried before in Wales. First published in Welsh in 2015, Why Wales Never Was affirms the author’s reputation as one of the most radical writers in Wales today.
‘The most challenging and significant work on Wales since devolution.’
– Dr Huw Williams, Cardiff University
‘This is not a comfortable read, but essential for anyone who wants to grasp the curious state of Wales today. In is a relentlessly challenging narrative, the author forces us to rethink our understanding of the forces that have shaped modern Welsh life. Can we hold Nonconformist Liberal values responsible for the language crisis and our patchy notions of Welsh nationhood? Simon Brooks makes a very convincing case.’
– Huw Edwards, BBC News