22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Not as good as the other reviewers suggest,
This review is from: Estates: An Intimate History (Paperback)
This book doesn't quite work. It seeks to be a personal memoir and an account of public housing policies but falls short in both. For example, while there are references to the author's childhood, these are fleeting and not all that interesting or personal. And, while there is some information on Government housing policy, this is unoriginal and relies too much on a few sources (such as Anne Power's work for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation). Another annoyance is that in various places the author condemns people who look askance at people who live on estates and then does exactly the same herself - the section on shellsuits near the end is a perfect example of this. The author is also deeply confused about various things - especially the aims of national politicians, which are caricatured mercilessly but apparently unintentionally. On page 171, she writes, 'I like to think I know what I'm talking about.' This sums up the book perfectly - slightly arrogant and not as good as it thinks it is.