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One of Them by Musa Okwonga

Bay Tree Review

Written by the Book & Bottle Book Club

One of Them by Musa Okwonga
Read over the month of Feb 2022

We went for non-fiction for February with Musa Okwonga’s memoir of his time at Eton College.

“Musa Okwonga – a young Black man who grew up in a predominantly working-class town – was not your typical Eton College student. The experience moulded him, challenged him… but also made him wonder why a place that was so good for him also seems to contribute to the harm being done to the UK.

The more he searched, the more evident the connection became between one of Britain’s most prestigious institutions and the genesis of Brexit, and between his home town in the suburbs of Greater London and the rise of the far right. Woven throughout this deeply personal and unflinching memoir of Musa’s five years at Eton in the 1990s is a present-day narrative which engages with much wider questions about pressing social and political issues: privilege, the distribution of wealth, the rise of the far right in the UK, systemic racism, the ‘boys’ club’ of government and the power of the few to control the fate of the many. One of Them is both an intimate account and a timely exploration of race and class in modern Britain.”

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