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The Road to Southend Pier: One Man's Struggle Against the Surveillance Society Hardcover – 29 Oct 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Harriman House Publishing; 1st ed. edition (29 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905641443
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905641444
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 1.9 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 571,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Ross Clark is a journalist who has written extensively for The Times, The Sunday Telegraph and the Mail on Sunday. He is the author of 'How to Label a Goat" The Silly Rules and Regulations that are Strangling Britain', also published by Harriman House, and 'The Great Before', a satire on the anti-globalisation movement - www.greatbefore.com As for his private life, he isn't giving anything away because he can't be sure the book won't fall into the hands of the narks at some nosey government agency.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eagle Fly Free on 13 Aug 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A cursory glance at this little book and you might understandably be expecting a sort of subversive travelogue in which the protagonist attempts to make his way around the country - to Southend pier in fact - whilst evading the ever encroaching eyes and ears of the much-vaunted surveillance society. In reality, the author's account of his stealth journey is dealt with early on across just a handful of pages and in very little detail. The rest of the book is a category by category overview of the increase in surveillance and data collecting which is currently making almost daily headlines and bogging the state down in reams of mostly useless information. Chapters on transport, computers, banking, policing, the workplace, the NHS and shopping form a lineup that'll be already familiar to anyone who regularly reads around this subject and adds nothing new to the debate. It is, however, an easy and fairly enjoyable read that can be digested in one sitting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Durston TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Dec 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`The Road to Southend Pier' covers everything to do with the surveillance society in which we live from CCTV to DNA profiling, ID cards, how Google saves your searches through to supermarket club cards, the drawbacks of using websites such as Face Book and My Space and stop and search powers. It is incredibly interesting and deeply worrying, especially as it deals with how useless much of the information actually is and how we are becoming increasingly open to fraudsters abusing this data with no repercussions.

When I initially read the blurb, I was expecting something a little more along the lines of a Dave Gorman or Charlie Connelly book, involving Ross Clark creeping around trying to evade cameras. The book wasn't quite like that, it is much more journalistic in its approach but it isn't completely devoid of humour, for example:

`In George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston Smith was rudely interrupted during his morning exercises by a voice from his television screen telling him to put in more effort. It could have been worse. He could have had a Tesco Clubcard.'

This is a book that will certainly give you food for thought....I'm off to cut up my credit cards.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marlene on 20 Nov 2007
Format: Hardcover
As an American living in London I have long wondered about the cameras and all the security checks in Britain. The book answered the question I most wanted to ask: if all these cameras stop crime, how come I have to watch my step from the British 'hoodie' every time I walk back from the subway to my apartment? Mr Clark sets out on a mission to see whether he can duck the cameras -- and comes to the conclusion that while he can't escape being caught, the cameras are pretty useless anyway. This book is very funny in places, which endeared me to a subject which could otherwise be very dry
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian on 19 Nov 2007
Format: Hardcover
I didn't know whether to laugh or look over my shoulder. Ross Clark is a wry and brilliant and commentator on the absurdities of the state. I've always been a bit agnostic on the issue of CCTV cameras and the like, but after reading this I wanted to through a blanket over the camera at the end of my street. Mr Clark is no nutty extremist, and is even supportive of surveillance in some cases -- watching terrorists in their besits for example -- but he cleverly makes the case that while the majority of us have our liberty compromised -- the real criminals somehow seem to get lost in the fog of data.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although the books facts are slightly outdated it is still a really interesting insight to the UK through the eyes of a wannabe Winston Smith, really enjoyed this and the style of writing is superb both factual and funny.
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