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248 × 190 mm
416 pages
Paperback with flaps
195 illustrations, 123 in colour
01 Nov 2003
  • £19.95

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London from Punk to Blair Joe Kerr, Andrew Gibson

London is known around the world as a metropolitan, ordered city full of tourist attractions and exclusive shops, but the real face of the city – disordered, chaotic, sprawling, vigorous, untamed – remains unseen and unexplored. London from Punk to Blair is a richly illustrated portrait of Europe’s foremost capital. An array of contributors, including poets, journalists, teachers, historians, wanderers, drinkers, photographers and foodies, offer a selection of personal and subjective readings of the city since the late ’70s. Using maps, journeys, pictures, narratives and signs, the contributors chart a variety of literal and metaphorical explorations through modern and postmodern London, showing how it works, and how it fails to work; what makes it vibrant, and what makes it seedy. From West End galleries to strip pubs in Shoreditch; from millionaires’ loft apartments to buses and suburban Tube stops; from film, fashion and gay clubs to punk bands, ruinous factories, pigeon filth and the vagaries of weather, London from Punk to Blair embraces the city like no other book has before. London is too complex and fragmented for any one person to comprehend fully, but this book goes a long way to help you discover what lies outside, and inside, Zone 1. The book will open your eyes to parts of London that you have never seen, or even knew existed, until now.

‘Finely printed and lavishly illustrated, this volume of essays is full of insight into the diverse experiences that constitute the recent history of London.’ – ArchitectsJournal

‘This rewarding collection of thirty-four essays, supported by contextual photographs, brings into clear focus those dramatic shifts in the fortunes of the metropolis . . . in a cover-to-cover reading gives a satisfying sequence of perceptions which slowly build on each other . . . beautiful revealing insights into particular ways of understanding and using the city.’ – London Society Journal

‘Read this fascinating glimpse of our capital’s recent past by all means. Let it do as it promises and open your eyes to parts of the city you have never seen before.’ – Diplomat Magazine

‘The introduction is a powerful evocation of changing London through the past 25 years. Co-editor Joe Kerr is a great writer . . . there is plenty for every taste. The fun is in the discovery of new and rediscovery of old alike.’ – Building Design

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Joe Kerr is Head of Programme in the Department of Critical & Historical Studies at the Royal College of Art, London, and co-editor of Autopia (Reaktion, 2002).

Andrew Gibson is Professor of English at Royal Holloway, University of London, and the author of James Joyce (Reaktion, 2006) and Samuel Becket (Reaktion, 2010).

Contributors include: Phil Baker, Michael Bracewell, Christopher Breward, John Davis, Tom Dyckhoff, Allen Fisher, Charlie Gere, David Gilbert, Fiona Henderson, Patrick Keiller, Sarah Kent, Roger Luckhurst, Nicholas Royle, Hanif Kureishi, Salman Rushdie, Patrick Wright.