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Distributed for Reaktion Books

London From Punk to Blair

Revised Second Edition

2nd Edition

London from Punk to Blair is a rich 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. These essays 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. This revised edition includes a new introduction by editor Joe Kerr that brings the book up to date and gives the essays context for the post-recession world.
“Full of insight into the diverse experiences that constitute the recent history of London.”—Architects’ Journal
“This rewarding collection brings into clear focus those dramatic shifts in the fortunes of the metropolis. . . . Beautiful, revealing insights into particular ways of understanding and using the city.”—London Society Journal

Distribution by the University of Chicago Press only to customers in the USA and Canada. Customers elsewhere should visit the UK website of Reaktion Books.

352 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

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 “In the 10 years since this book was first published, London has, says Joe Kerr, been ‘convulsed by change on a seismic scale’: globalisation, the 7/7 bombings, the financial crisis, last year’s riots and the continuing ‘vertiginous vertical expansion of its skyline.’ But despite such traumas and transformations, London remains London, and the essays in this volume try to make sense of this ancient, beguiling city. In more than 30 articles, writers eloquently explore what it was like to be in London ‘in the dying years of the last century.”

The Guardian

Table of Contents

Introduction – Joe Kerr

London and Language – Katie Wales
The Metropolitan Playground: London’s Children – Jenny Bavidge and Andrew Gibson
Gay London – Mark W. Turner
Wild Women, Wild Men – Hanif Kureishi
An Unimportant Fire – Salman Rushdie
Cosmopolis: London’s Ethnic Minorities – Panikos Panayi
White Hair Right Now: Styling the London Man – Caroline Cox
The London Suit – Christopher Breward

From GLC to GLA: London Politics from Then to Now – John Davis
Armagideon Time – Charlie Gere
Staging Royal London – Fiona Henderson
CCTV: City Watch – Niran Abbas
Sex, Power and Miracles: A Suburban Triptych – David Gilbert
The Transformation of Political and Cultural Space – Hilda Kean
The State of London – Mike Phillips

Blowdown: The Rise and Fall of London’s Tower Blocks – Joe Kerr
End of the Line – Rod Mengham and Marc Atkins
Rats with Wings: London’s Battle with Animals – Gargi Bhattacharyya
Abandoned Buildings – Nicholas Royle
Higher and Higher: How London Fell for the Loft – Tom Dyckhoff
Down in the Dirt – Patrick Wright
Slow Flow: Thirty Years of Transport in London – Helen Caroline Evenden
Architecture’s Urban Shine and Brutal Reality – Murray Fraser
Meteomedia; or, Why London’s Weather Is in the Middle of Everything – Tom McCarthy

Altering Images – Andrew Gibson
Punk – Michael Bracewell
Tales from Trash City – Paul Davies and Julie Cook
Imaging Brixton – Allen Fisher
Secret City: Psychogeography and the End of London – Phil Baker
Occult London – Roger Luckhurst
Groundswell – Sarah Kent
London in the Early 1990s – Patrick Keiller
Imaginary Landscapes, Jumbled Topographies: Cinematic London – Pamela Church Gibson
Crime and Memory in the Capital – Robert Mighall

Photographic Acknowledgements

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