In The Golden Talking Shop, former Parliamentary sketch writer (and Oxford Union member) Edward Pearce tells the story of Britain - and the world - in the first half of the twentieth century as seen from the perspective of debates in the world's most famous debating society: sometimes shocking, sometimes wittily amusing, and often both. The students do most of the talking, along the way revealing the changing preoccupations, prejudices, and assumptions of
their changing times. A distinct pre-First World War fashion for Social Darwinism is in due course replaced by a widespread 1930s penchant for Stalinism, with civilized opinion reliably breaking in on occasion
too. Above all, browsing these debates, taken straight from another age, gives the reader a vivid, sometimes piquant, sense of a Britain which is now passing from living memory - and serves as a powerful reminder of the ways in which the past and its attitudes really are a foreign country.