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Aaportrait of stiff upper lips, scrupulous politeness and curious social codes,aHow to Be a Britaexaminesathe strange things we do and say. If you're British you'll love it; if you're a foreigner, you'll appreciate it . . .
George Mikes (pronounced 'me-cash'), was born in Hungary 1912. In 1938 he moved to London to become the correspondent for a Hungarian newspaper, and then he never left. A keen observer of the behaviour and misbehaviour of foreigners and natives in Britain, he is frequently cited by later authors including Kate Fox and Jeremy Paxman. He died in London in 1987.
In all the miseries which plague mankind, there is hardly anything better than such radiant humour as is given to you. Everyone must laugh with you - even those who are hit with your little arrows. Albert Einstein to George Mikes An instant classic -- Francis Wheen on 'How to Be an Alien' Very funny The Economist Bill Bryson is George Mikes' love-child -- Jeremy Paxman This is the vital textbook for Brits, would-be Brits, and anyone who wonders what being a Brit really means. Pass me my hot water bottle, please -- Dame Esther Rantzen Wise and witty -- William Cook on 'How to Be an Alien' Spectator Brilliantly comical -- Pico Iyer on 'How to Be an Alien' New York Times Mikes is a master of the laconic yet slippery put-down: "The trouble with tea is that originally it was quite a good drink" -- Henry Hitchings I love it and read it cover to cover. Also has good tips for talking about the weather, not that we need them -- Rachel Johnson Full of the very best advice that any would-be Brit should need (and for those of us who have forgotten exactly how it is to be ourselves) it's a jolly good read The Telegraph