When George Alagiah was dropped off at a Hampshire boarding school as a child back in 1967 he was confronted with an extreme version of the private struggle faced by all immigrants - the battle to leave the past behind and fit into a new culture.
His arrival in Britain coincided with the unhappy intrusion of race into politics. A key part of the ensuing fight against racism was the concept of multiculturalism. But in a closely argued and forthright chapter, Alagiah suggests that, far from improving the prospects for some immigrants, multiculturalism may be an impediment to integration. All too often these are the poor and isolated communities who most need the help of the state to break out of what is fast becoming a version of ghetto life.
Above all, this book is a tender and evocative portrayal of the immigrant experience. Alagiah brings colour and life to a subject that is too often reduced to screaming tabloid headlines, and sheds light on the controversial question of British identity.
George Alagiah is a widely praised journalist who works for the BBC. He lives in Stoke Newington in North London with his wife and two children.