The Secret History of Our Streets explores one of the great forces shaping our lives: property. Why we live where we live, and how that choice informs the lives we lead.
In a modern version of Charles Booth's 1886 Survey of London, this remarkable book tells the story of six London streets, representing the widest possible picture of the city both socially and geographically. Each has a fascinating story of its own. Together, their stories reveal the big underlying forces that have shaped Britain for the last 120 years: gentrification, migration, slum clearance, property speculation and the urban sprawl.
The six streets and larger themes they address are Deptford High Street - the mania for re-development, slum clearances; Portland Road - gentrification and 'super-gentrification' (the rich being pushed out by the super-rich); Reverdy Road - the white working class, the Blitz and redevelopment; Caledonian Road - ownership and landlords, the prison; Arnold Circus - public housing; Camberwell Grove - the disappearance of rural idyll, the rise of the suburbs.