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London in the Twentieth Century: A City and Its People [Paperback]

Jerry White
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 Jan 2008

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 this extraordinary century, and in this colourful book Jerry White tells the story not just of London, but of Londoners too. He examines the changes to the worlds of work, transport, popular culture, politics and government and shows how London affects its inhabitants, shaping their lives and being shaped in turn by them.

Beautifully illustrated and with a wealth of detail, this is a definitive and highly readable history of London in the twentieth century.

Winner of the Wolfson History Prize.

Frequently Bought Together

London in the Twentieth Century: A City and Its People + London In The Nineteenth Century: 'A Human Awful Wonder of God' + London In The Eighteenth Century: A Great and Monstrous Thing
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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (3 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845951263
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845951269
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 19.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 184,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"A fair-minded, illuminating guide. White is plainly fascinated by London, and for anyone who shares that fascination his book offers many rewards" (Times Literary Supplement)

"Succeeds brilliantly....weighty, lucid and engaging" (Independent)

"A fascinating story and an outstanding contribution to the study of London history" (Spectator)

"Engaging, optimistic and enthusiastic, and very funny" (Daily Telegraph)

"A wonderful book. I passionately urge people to read it from cover to cover" (Roy Porter)

Book Description

A brilliant, acclaimed book which examines one of the world's greatest cities during one of the most tumultuous centuries.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jerry White's London In The Twentieth Century is a remarkable book full of statistics and memories. The book is neatly divided up into sections and then the sections divided up into periods of time. This must have been an exhaustive event to undertake and can be proven by the two sections at the back of the book entitled Notes To Pages and Bibliography - these two sections alone take up nearly 100 pages of the book and proves the extensive research Jerry White took to write his book - and then 20 pages are devoted to the index!
The text of the book is very absorbing, beautifully describing London at any given point in time, from the turn of the century to the Millennium. Anybody living or brought up in London at that time will be able to appreciate the unfolding events described, whether, for example, it is the building of roads to link the small towns, the introduction of the north and south circular roads or even the laying down of the orbital motorway or the fluctuation of crime between the two world wars, the introduction of 'muggings' and the birth of the Teds and violence of the skinhead movement. Everything seems to be covered in the text, from markets and stores to finance and politics to crime and the police force to yuppies and council estates to immigration to emigration. Just reading a section brings back floods of memories, (personally) some good and some unpleasant but a delight all the same.
The book also includes some black and white plates, including the famous photograph of Winston Churchill at the siege of Sidney Street (1911) - well before my time! - and the Brixton Riots (1981) - which I remember driving through on my way to a night out in London!
Definitely...GREAT STUFF!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A biography of a City 24 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Alongside his companion volume London in the nineteenth Century, this is a wonderful, easy to read biography of the city (without being over-simplified). For anyone who grew up in London - or arrived to fall in love with the city it is an excellent explanation and record of how our city developed. Historic decisions are contextualised within the history of the country more generally and you are helped to make links between social, Political, architectural changes.

He is working on the Eighteenth Century as I write. Can't wait!

PS You will become absorbed - a good holiday read, one chapter is never enough!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 3 Mar 2011
As an adoptive Londoner, I loved this book and helped me to understand my city better. It's been a long time since I read it, but I really found it compulsive reading and even dragged it on the Tube despite it's doorstop size. I only came on here because I wanted to get a Kindle version of the his history of London in the 19th century, which sadly isn't available yet.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a great read 12 Jan 2013
By terry s
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Jerry White doe.s it again
the third Jerry White book on LONDON and another great read
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the greatest city in the world
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 3 Sep 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Brilliant read, as all his books are.
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