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4.4 out of 5 stars22
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 19 January 2011
This book is gritty, some of the scenes aren't pretty and yet everything in it and all the characters portrayed are real and their circumstances existed at the time. It is not an idyllic jaunt down rose-tinted avenues and yet by not being so, it is a true deferential homage to the real people of the East End. Mention is made to the burgeoning fashion scene and the pop culture, but the old man on the bench and muddied babies in the tenements existed too. To complain that this book doesn't have enough clean, glamorous images of market stalls, mini skirts and music is missing the point - of course it's nice to see those images but just as important is the capturing of what life was really like for some people then. It can't capture every aspect of the diverse East End, nor should it. The pictures that are in here aren't sensationalised though, nor are they contrived, they are honest and beautifully taken. What is heartening is that beneath the dirt, the poverty, the hardship and the struggle, Steve Lewis shows us the real people of the East End, smiling against adversity, embracing the traditions (see the pearly kings and queens) but encouraging the new ideals and fashions (see David Bailey and his glamorous sidekick). To suggest that this should be full of glamorous images of people enjoying themselves is naive, pointless and disrespectful to the people who did live like this. There is no doubt that Steve Lewis knows how to take an excellent picture, and from cover to cover this book is full of them. It is fascinating, alarming, revolting and humorous in equal measure, but most of all it is genuine - genuine people living in a real place at an actual time.
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on 18 October 2011
I bought this book for my Uncle who lived in the East End during the 60s. It was everything I hoped for: loads of pictures and not dominated by text. Pictures have a very 'real' feel to them. My Uncle loved it and we spent a whole evening listening to his excited comments about pictures of places or things he remembered. Highly recommended piece of social history as well as nostalgia.
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on 4 July 2012
Great memories bought to life, with an added bonus of seeing a photo of my mother in the book. We never knew that she would be in there and it really bought back memories of our close family at that time.
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on 9 March 2011
I really liked this book and wasn't disappointed. There isn't much in the way of text but it's full of excellent photographs of a bygone era. This book is a social history and it shows the gritty side of life at that time. I was born and grew up in the East End of London in that era and I can relate to many of the images. A very interesting book and fascinating collection of pictures, I only wish it were longer!
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on 18 February 2014
My Dad grew up in the East End and loves books detailing the East End as he remembered it, he read this in a matter of a few sittings and that is saying something for my dad who is usually inseparable from the TV!
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on 8 August 2013
Bought for a male friend who is difficult to buy for. A bit of a risk but the photo`s and history are informative and interesting so couldn`t go wrong. He loved it.
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on 25 November 2013
I thought there would have been more photographs than there were in this book a little disappointing.but a useful one to add to the collection.
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on 6 January 2011
I was someone who was born and grew up in Plaistow (Newham) the area and time supposed to be covered in this book. In my opinion, this is so not the 60's in East London but look like a Victorian dirge of misery and poverty. Where are the market stalls bursting with cockney banter and local produce. Where are the young men and women in full length leather and suede coats, where are pictures of dancing at the Ilford Palais. Where are the hand made mohair suits men insisted on wearing. Fashion was created here and copied into the 'swinging 60's' of Carnaby Street. Where are the pubs, full of laughter and singing and extremely well dressed people with full employment all around. This was the time of Mary Quant, Twiggy and when the Beatles were performing at the Leyton Baths yet the pictures do not reflect that era IMHO. Where are the pictures of the bus bringing the world cup into the Boylen. I seriously would not recommend this book. Shame on you Steve Lewis, you have NOT done us proud
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on 23 May 2014
Essential for the bookshelf of anyone that remembers East London in the early 1960s. Wonderful shots of people and streets long gone including some priceless shots of young West Ham supporters jostling to get through the 1/- turnstile. What days!
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on 11 April 2011
This is a wonderful collection of photographs. There are shots of the markets, the pubs, the crowds at West Ham for the football... I bet lots of people have spotted themselves, family or friends in this book.
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