Top Literary Podcasts: Critic James Wood On The British, “Etonian Entitlement” And Brexit

London Review of Books PodcastsJames Wood: These Etonians

James Wood recalls his time at the college, with David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and others.

Even at a place like Eton, it didn’t seem likely that anyone in my year would actually become prime minister. At school, everyone is ‘ambitious’, everyone loudly stretching upwards, but perhaps true ambition has a pair of silent claws. None of us identified David Cameron as the boy marching inexorably towards Downing Street. When he became Tory leader in 2005, I had difficulty recalling him: wasn’t he that affable, sweet-faced, minor fellow at the edge of things? I remembered him as quite handsome, with the Etonian’s uncanny ability to soften entitlement with charm. Mostly, he was defined by negatives: he wasn’t an intellectual or scholar, a rebel, a musician, a school journalist or writer, even a sportsman.

Website: https://play.acast.com/s/londonreviewpodcasts/6baeeb08-0fd4-4149-af9d-7074e15b6244

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