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London in the Twentieth Century: A City and Its People
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London in the Twentieth Century: A City and Its People

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  26 ratings  ·  6 reviews
In 1901, London was the greatest city the world had seen in size, wealth and grandeur. Yet it was also a city where poverty and disease were rife. London in 2001 was no longer among the world's very largest cities, but was still one where vast wealth was displayed - alongside beggars sleeping rough.

Such paradoxes are among the defining experiences of living in London in th
Paperback, 560 pages
Published January 3rd 2008 by Vintage (first published 2001)
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This is the last book of the trilogy in the London series. In the this last book I read, in horror, of the rapacious developers who demolished 17 Wren churches to put in concrete office buildings. The Edwardians were not sentimental about their older buildings being destroyed to "modernise" their city. Unbelievable! It was fun to read about the different sections of the city and how they have changed. That includes the people of London, as well. My London ancestors would hardly recognize their c ...more
David Bird
I read this volume after White's other volumes on the city during the 18th and 19th centuries, and after them, found it a great disappointment. It was a tedious and frustrating experience by comparison.

One facet of this book relative to its predecessors is a strength that reads as a weakness: much more information is available in statistical, rather than anecdotal form. This no doubt makes a more solid scholarly base, but also is less entertaining for a reader.

But the more profound difference wa
Josh Hogan

London in the twentieth century is an undeniably enormous topic to take on, with countless themes and events and stories and developments to explore. As in his books on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Jerry White has given it his best shot here. The same structure that divided his other books remains, with the passage of the century being divided into five different areas: city, people, economy, popular culture and politics.

The expansion and then constriction of boom and bust London is
Really this is several studies in one - the infrastructure, capital & labour, culture and so on, of the greatest city in the world. Each section is researched in great depth and presented concisely. There is a lot of information to assimilate, and the bibiography could keep an interested reader busy for years. The real value of this book is to give context to to the modern United Kingdom, particularly the South East, its politics, economy and culture.
Modern London isn't my strong suit so I appreciated the depth and scope of this history. It was easy to read, as others have mentioned, although the copious use of numerical info (populations, percentages, dates) tended to blur together. Porter's history was more enjoyable overall but this one is worth reading for a better understanding of London today.
Mike Ward
comprehensive and very readable - highly recommended
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