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On The Eighth Day God Created Allotments [Kindle Edition]

David Boyle
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

There are few things the British treasure as much as their allotments. A few square metres of land, usually on the outskirts of cities, they are an oasis of calm in a busy world, a source of fresh vegetables and flowers, and a retreat into nature for city dwellers.

But what is the history of the allotment? Where did it come from? And what were the principles and ideas that created this quiet but powerful force in society?

In this brilliant slice of social history, David Boyle traces the story of the allotment back to the great medieval commons - and to the potent but half-forgotten ideology which, throughout the nineteenth century, asserted people's right to grow their own food.

This book is partly the story of the politician who made it possible, Jesse 'Three acres and a cow' Collings, and his ability to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat (and vice versa). But it is also a look at the original ideology of the allotment, its radical claims about English history, its representative interpretation of modern economics, and where it has led us to today - and what might happen if the guiding ideology of allotments makes further progress.

On the Eighth Day God Created Allotments will be enjoyed by keen gardeners, but also by anyone interested in the history of British society. It magnificently mixes personal stories and social, political economic ideas to tell a little-known but compelling and important story.

David Boyle is the author of 'Blondel's Song: The capture, imprisonment and ransom of Richard the Lionheart' and a series of books about history, social change and the future. He has written for many national newspapers and magazines.

Endeavour Press is the UK's leading publisher of digital books.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 177 KB
  • Print Length: 59 pages
  • Publisher: Endeavour Press Ltd.; 1 edition (10 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007J99YZ2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #299,366 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

David Courtney Boyle, 1958-, is a British author and journalist who writes mainly about history and new ideas in economics, money, business and culture. He lives in the South Downs. His most recent public role was conducting an independent review for the Treasury and the Cabinet Office on Barriers to Public Service Choice, which reported early in 2013.

His book Authenticity put the phenomenon on the business and political agenda. His previous books The Tyranny of Numbers and The Sum of Our Discontent predicted and fermented the backlash against target culture. Funny Money helped launched the time banks movement in the UK.

More recently, he has been writing about why organisations and public services are so ineffective, working with the New Economics Foundation and NESTA on a series of publications about coproduction, and publishing his own solutions as The Human Element. This argues that organisations have abandoned human skills in favour of numerical targets or IT systems, which frustrate the business of building relationships and making things happen.

His history books usually have a business or economic dimension, including Blondel's Song (UK) and The Troubadour's Song (USA) about the imprisonment and ransom of Richard the Lionheart. His 2008 book Toward the Setting Sun tells the intertwined story of Christopher Columbus, John Cabot and Amerigo Vespucci and their race for America in the 1490s. His 2010 book, Eminent Corporations with (Andrew Simms) has introduced a new genre, the mini-corporate biography, launching the idea of corporate history as tragedy. His recent book Broke has launched a public debate about the plight of the middle classes.

He has been the editor of several journals including New Economics and Town & Country Planning. He is a fellow of the New Economics Foundation and has been at the heart of the effort to develop co-production and introduce time banks to Britain as a critical element of public service reform. He has been closely involved in their Clone Town Britain campaign and writes about the future of volunteering, cities and business. He edited the Foundation's publications New Economics, News from the New Economy, and then Radical Economics from 1987-2010.

David helped found the London Time Bank, and was co-founder of Time Banking UK. He has been a candidate for Parliament of the United Kingdom. He was editor of the weekly Liberal Democrat News from 1992-1998.

His bestselling books for Kindle have mainly been about history, including Alan Turing: Unlocking the Enigma, Peace on Earth and Unheard, Unseen.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An origional book on something familiar.... 12 Mar. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Allotments are becoming popular again across Britain, with waiting lists of up to 40 years in some London boroughs. A growing suspicion of GM food and environmental concerns over food miles and excess packaging add to the appeal of home-grown vegetables, as well as the attraction of having an outside space to escape to. On the Eighth Day God Created Allotments explores the history of the allotment, linking political ideology with the rise, fall and rise again in the interest in allotments. The author has a wide knowledge of the history of English radicalism, which coupled with a personal interest in his local allotment society creates an interesting polemic.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible and enjoyable 12 Mar. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Although there is a lot written about the upkeep and maintenance of an allotment, the history of the English institution remains somewhat hidden. The author explores how the fate of the allotment has been tied to English political history over the last 200 years. The book looks at how key political figures, cultural movements and events have aided or hindered the growth of the allotment. David Boyle has written an essay which encompasses History, Economics and Politics. A personal enthusiasm for his subject also shines through. This book is something different, yet accessible and enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an easily forgotten piece of social history 5 Jun. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love visiting allottments, though I haven't actually had one. There is always a lovely atmosphere of camaraderie. Evey kind of division melts in the face of tomatoe blight. I sort of knew there was history there, but I didn;t know how it fitted in to social history, more especially, recent history. This has filled in many gaps for me, particularly where space has been been found for them and controversies that arose.. I also felt curious about changing fashions in vegetable and fruit growing and husbandry 0 how much is continuity and how much change. This book filled in these gaps for me in a lively and informative way. It should appeal to those interested in genveral social trends as well as to allottment holders and veg and fruit growers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Read 9 Jun. 2013
By vex
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great fun to find out the history of allotments and and makes me proud to be part of this trend.
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