Cover provocations series

Provocations is a ground-breaking series of short polemics composed by some of the most intriguing voices in contemporary culture and edited by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. 
Join Yasmin and fellow authors Joan Smith, Kurt Barling and Peter York as they present and debate their own unique takes on a range of topics.
As a Shia Muslim, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown will never accept that the veil is a legitimate choice for any woman. Her mother’s generation threw them off in the 20’s and stamped their mark on history. In Refusing the Veil Alibhai-Brown argues that what they did was as serious and brave as the struggles of western suffragettes. The Koran does not command full veiling. Refuse the veil, she argues and reclaim female human rights and freedoms. 
In Down with the Royals Joan Smith declares that the monarchy – undemocratic, unaccountable and shockingly expensive – has no place in modern Britain. Toppling the arguments for having a monarchy, one by one, and exposing darker truths about the power and influence of these so-called symbols of impartiality, she asks are these people really fit to be the public face of a modern country?

Does race matter as much as it used to? Many argue that the post-racial society is upon us and racism is no longer a block on opportunity, but former BBC special correspondent Kurt Barling doubts whether things are really that simple. In The R Word, Barling tackles the paradoxes at the heart of anti-racism. Can society escape this so-called ‘race-thinking’ and re-imagine a Britain that is no longer ‘black’ and ‘white’? Is it yet possible to step out of our skins and leave the colour behind?
Authenticity is a Con argues Peter York: From motivational speakers to PR consultants, music entrepreneurs to devoted foodies, bearded hipsters to earnest YouTubers – and, yes, politicians too – ‘authentic’ has become the buzzword of our age. But, as Peter York has discovered, its meaning has changed and become corrupted. Drawing on witty anecdotes and analysing various spheres of everyday life, Peter has set out to uncover the truth behind authenticity – the ultimate con of our generation.
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