One of Them: An Eton College Memoir

Musa Okwonga

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.

Media Reviews

‘The memoir I’ve enjoyed most this year’ Hilary Mantel

‘Moving … stays with you long after you’ve finished it’ Nigella Lawson

‘A superb memoir … written with a poet’s lyricism and a journalist’s clarity’ Nish Kumar

‘An urgent exposition on how [Eton]’s undue influence is shaping political forces – from the current government and Brexit to the rise of nationalist and racist politics’ Stylist

‘Okwonga is a writer worth waiting half a century for’ New Statesman

‘Fascinating insight into the workings of one of the most exclusive, secretive and privileged institutions on earth’ Robert Verkaik, author of Posh Boys

‘Writing that holds and ambushes you in turn … a portrait of the allure of institutional power’ Vinay Patel

‘Raw evidence of the power of resilience and determination and hope … a blistering memoir’ Salena Godden

‘Frank, fascinating and unique … essential reading’ Hashi Mohamed, author of People Like Us

‘A nuanced and complex account’ Daily Telegraph

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