If only Britain knew how it was viewed abroad

A London-based foreign correspondent is probably not the target audience of Michael Peel’s latest book. Indeed, what Peel (himself a former Financial Times correspondent in Lagos, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok and Brussels) discusses in eight lively, well-researched chapters won’t come as a surprise to any of his UK-based foreign colleagues: how Britain is perceived abroad; and how little it seems to permeate the national consciousness. This blindness – or the British inability to realise how they appear to others, as opposed to the image they have of themselves – often has foreign correspondents pulling their hair in disbelief. If only Britain knew how it was seen! One senses that Peel’s return