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How Leeds Changed the World Paperback – 11 Jan 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Armley Press (11 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955469937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955469930
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 1.3 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 193,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Author

What is this? I suppose it's a book bigging up Leeds. I can't do the city justice but I've given it a go. I've brought together many of the remarkable ways in which the city has contributed to the world through developments, discoveries, ideas, inventions, innovations, organisations, events and important and interesting theories over the centuries. Where's y' boundary? The Leeds urban subdivision covers an area of 109 square kilometres (42 sq mi) and I've drawn my Leeds boundary around LS postcodes.

I like the idea of taking one of the major, industrial northern citys and documenting some of its achievements. Naturally I chose Leeds, it's my city, I love the city, I know the city or so I thought as I set out on this journey. I knew nowt.

It obviously can't be comprehensive, that would be a lifetime's work and you could even argue that I'd have to include every last person living in Leeds because that's the essence of Leeds, its people. Anyway, it's my decision and I've decided not to do an entry on everyone in Leeds, past and present, that'd be daft....it'd take me weeks. There will be some glaring omissions. I have, for example, completely forgotten to mention the time when Houdini nearly died here repeating a trick he'd performed hundreds of times. His almost fatal mistake? The cask he needed to escape from was filled with Tetley's bitter instead of the usual water. Harry was overcome by alcoholic fumes and the great man had to be rescued. I'm interested in stuff that'll make you go, `Eh? Y'kidding?' If you find yourself thinking I can't believe he didn't include.... (such as Marks and Spencer's Penny Bazaar) then I reckon it'll probably be quite well known, although I would appreciate an email about it. The book could go on forever, it's my piece of string and I have to stop and publish at some point. If I didn't now I never would. I know me, I'd constantly be ruminating, `Ooh, I'll just do what-is-it, who-j-m-bob....ey, thingy-m-jig is interesting.'

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.

About the Author

This is Mick McCann's third book, the first being his cult hit Coming Out as a Bowie Fan in Leeds, Yorkshire, England - The Memoirs Of A Punk Romantic. Charting the exploits and life of a young lad stepping out, late '70s, into East Leeds in effeminate clothing and make-up. Full of anecdotes and stories of the people of Leeds.

BOYS IN MAKE-UP - PUNK - FOOTBALL - CHILDHOOD - BOWIE - MAD NUNS - GIRLS - LIFE - HOT WHEELS - LEEDS - CROSS COUNTRY - VIOLENCE - SEX - THE '70s - DISAPPEARING GIRL - ADOLESCENCE - MY DEATH.

His second was Nailed: Digital Stalking In Leeds, Yorkshire, England stating with the true story of him and his wife being arrested by Leeds CID due to a SIM card she gave away 5 years previously - a story taken up by Radio 4 and Metro and full of intrigue. He then weaves the true story through a fictional tale giving us a manic faction, a thriller of breathless pace, tied up in the electronic and physical surveillance issues of the 21st Century.

How many SIM cards have you ever had? And your family, how many?

Have you cancelled all the old SIM cards?

Perhaps you should.

You wouldn't want to get Nailed.

IDENTITY THEFT * ROAD-RAGE * FOUCAULT * EMAILS *
SURVEILLANCE * PANOPTICONS * LEEDS * CELEBRITY *
DIGITAL ASSUALT * 10111001 * STALKERS * JUSTICE *
FORUMS * CONSPIRACY * DATA-SNATCH * CHAOS


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By JH on 14 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
Mick McCann's humour infuses what is a very intelligent, thoughful, interesting and utterly readable book. I loved the piece on Leeds Utd which totally captured both the wistful memories of attending matches with his father and the long suffering yet addictive nature of being a Leeds fan. The retrospective use of door handles also, whilst having no relevance whatsoever to the great city, had me laughing out loud in reflection of the dour, dry, wit of Yorkshiremen. An excellent book on a number of levels; both the factual and the fanciful. Ultimately it is Mick McCanns quirky, inciteful and mischevious writing style that lifts the book above a mere compendium of facts.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ms. V. L. Jackson on 11 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
I love it, it's stuffed full of information but not in a dull way, weird and whacky next to interesting and thoughtful. It feels like a new kind of book, a book on a city that isn't a bit dull, it isn't really local history, in fact it's almost opposite to that and I'm glad it's my city, Leeds. As an A-Z I love the way that the jumping from subject to subject takes you by surprise.

The front and back cover show you what it's like, at times very serious at others playful - you don't expect to find yourself laughing as you read an encyclopaedia but I just did. After laughing (or smiling to yourself) or being surprised by a bit of light trivia you're suddenly reading about the first women to make a speech at the Labour Conference, life saving medical breakthroughs or how Leeds battled for workers rights, especially children's rights. The chatty style is refreshing and accessible (he's not scared to give opinions) and it leaves you telling people all the nuggets you've picked up from the book.

Thoroughly recommended to anyone with an interest in Leeds or the way that people change the world. Think I've just found the perfect Christmas present for people who are sick of getting socks and undies.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steve Boorman on 12 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
I wasn't too sure what to expect but eagerly awaited my copy. I am not from Leeds but let's say I have an affiliation to the city.

My copy arrived today. What a brilliant book. It is fascinating, informative and witty.

Anyone with an interest in the city of Leeds will appreciate this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steve Swift on 11 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great concept and brilliantly executed - a lively, opinionated, constantly surprising factotum about Leeds and its environs.

It's a book that weaves historical jaw-droppers with contemporary commentaries on popular culture to create a holistic picture of Leeds as the centre of the universe, which it was and still is in many critical areas of our lives, from medical discoveries, leisure innovations, great music and top-notch TV.

Mick McCann digs out some hidden gems here as well as providing an entertaining historical swoop across the city's big names like Louis Le Prince, Joseph Priestley, Chris Moyles and, er, the Kaiser Chiefs.

A perfect Christmas book, a perfect travel companion, a constant eye-opener.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Looking for a Christmas gift for a rellie or friend who loves Leeds? Then buy them, 'How Leeds Changed the World' , an encylopaedia of fascinating facts about Leeds and its people by author and publisher,Mick McCann.

I knew Carol Vorderman from Countdown was from Leeds but never knew she was a backing singer in the pop group, 'Dawn Chorus and the Blue Tits'. And guess what! - despite his accent, Vic Reeves was born in Leeds and until he was five, had a Leeds accent before Darlington stole him and gave him a funny north eastern one.

Would you have ever known that hair from Leeds was used to help mop up a BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Or that Mel B describes her ex, Eddie Murphy, as the 'Beverley Hills Cock'? Or that the painter Turner (good film out about him at the mo) had two Leeds patrons, Edward Lascelles of Harewood House and Walter Fawkes and that one of his most famous paintings was inspired by staying at Fawkes' home outside Otley?

Open it on any page and there'll be an absolute nugget, all told in Mick McCann's slightly manic and very Yorkshire style. For me, the most touching section was about the bus route to Cas(tleford). You'll have to read it to know why it's such a lovely passage but suffice to say, it warmed the cockles of my heart.

So get your debit card out and order a few copies. Mick gets about a fiver from the cover price so if you buy a few, this year, he may be able to afford a Christmas turkey with all the trimmings and pressies for the kids.

It's not easy making a living as an independent publisher so in a world of big business and boring, dry encyclopaedias, treat yourself to HLCTW and armed with scores of fascinating facts, I guarantee you'll be the toast of all your Christmas drinks parties.

NB: Mick McCann and his publishing partner, John Anthony Lake, did not ask me to write this review.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Odd Job on 10 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
enjoyed this immensely. love the non-stuffiness and down to earth feel of it, clearly written by someone who not only loves leeds but is immensely proud of the city - comes from the heart with real passion. loads of stuff i didn't know - very enlightening. find myself shouting out "hey listen to this" and then reading out loud the bit that's provoked the reaction.

love the self deprecating bits.

fun, quality and highly enjoyable read.
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