Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
If you lived in London during the last century then this book is for you!
on 20 July 2010
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!