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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Boris's Beano, 31 Jan 2012
This review is from: Johnson's Life of London: The People Who Made the City That Made the World (Hardcover)
This is Boris's cleverly constructed manifesto to secure his next sojourn as London's Mayor and it's better than stuffing pamphlets through doors. He shows a love of London and an instinctive grasp of what makes Londoners tick, presented in his unique Beano-like style where he lays his scholarship under a veneer of prep-school vulgarity and japery. You get the feeling this is a rather well-educated toff having fun; Private Eye of course has captured the vernacular perfectly in its Boris lampoons. The reader/voter can feel Boris is not taking himself too seriously and nobody likes a pompous politician. From Roman times to the present he continually updates himself with references to the Euro or recession.He pays homage to big finance and big ideas without which we wouldn't have a London, but he also takes a pot now and again at bankers and money-men.He covers the building of the city from all angles of its culture, brown-nosing nobody but appreciative of the myriad skills that go into making London, from the real story of wealthy Dick Whittington to the foresight of Joseph Bazalgette and his sewers.He overdid it a bit extolling the virtues and importance of Keith Richards and the Stones and his final chapter is unashamed vote seeking even down to the desirability of his pet project, the Thames Estuary Airport. But whatever your politics this is gripping and educational and downright hilarious stuff, while its accuracy and viewpoint will be questioned endlessly as every historical document should be. I'd rather read this than the election address that's just landed in my letter-box....
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4.1 out of 5 stars (35 customer reviews)
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