The Hurricane Port: A Social History of Liverpool Hardcover – 1 Sep 2011
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"The remarkable sweep and scope of this book traces the many origins and formative energies of this most anarchic, carnivalesque, promiscuous and contradictory of cities" (Paul Farley, poet and author of Edgelands)
"At last a book on Liverpool with the heart and zest the city deserves . . . a cornucopia of colour and detail" (Jamie McKendrick, poet)
"The author has threaded his way through [a] tangled web of materials vividly to evoke for us a distinctive myth-history of the city" (Peter Robinson, poet and editor of The Liverpool Accents)
"Powerful, passionate, punchy and provocative" (Liverpool Echo)
"A powerful and personal take on the city" (Liverpool Daily Post)
The definitive popular account of Liverpool and its peopleSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Alan Lees treads deftly and with great authority through the formative years of what was to become the second largest port in the world - with its trade and prosperity built first on the import of sugar, and second on the slave trade. The extent of Liverpool's involvement in the latter will shock many. He goes on to describe the destabilisation caused by the massive influx of Irish refugees in the mid-19th century and the subsequent creation of appalling areas of poverty and deprivation. Social barriers became established - based partly on wealth and social standing, partly on religion and partly on race. These barriers were to create the underbelly of tension and social disharmony that has characterised Liverpool since the source of its trading wealth was lost after the Second World War, and the social structure of the population was shattered by deeply flawed re-housing schemes. The detail is astounding and style is gripping
The fluid narrative of this book has a rhythm that is as insistent as the sea, and it acquires the momentum of an impending storm as it covers the last three decades. The sentences start to tumble into each other with poetry that is harsh and irresistible, almost rap-like - as the author describes the rising anger of the blacks, the riots of the 1980s and the creation of the social vacuum at the centre of the now impoverished city.Read more ›
'Since first the dominion of men was asserted over the ocean, three thrones, of mark beyond all others, have been set upon its sands: the thrones of Tyre, Venice and England. Of the First of these great powers only the memory remains; of the Second, the ruin; the Third, which inherits their greatness, if it forget their example, may be lead through prouder eminence to less pitied destruction.'
It was Ruskin's thesis that a great trading seaport reaches its peak along parallel lines of moral and mercantile ascent. In after years, evidence of the height of that power and the path of the decline can be discerned by the observant. Ruskin thought that the trajectories of Venice had been carved out by her stonemasons and could be read by studying her architecture. The Hurricane Port traces the rise and fall of Liverpool by examining her social fabric.
The great seaports of the past thrived on the brave adventurousness of their mariners, though these men embraced the evils of war and slavery. Their empires failed when the people forgot the significance of their wealth. The internal strength of Liverpool may have started to ebb just when England was reaching the height of her maritime and industrial power in the nineteenth century. Shared moral values and economic interactions are different facets of the same thing, and Ruskin saw that prevailing ideas about political economy neglected the circulation and distribution of wealth as essential conditions for a sustainable economy.
The Hurricane Port succeeds in its most serious purpose by analysing the moral dimension of the changing fortunes of Liverpool.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent book - an unsentimental account of Liverpool (and Merseyside more widely including the author's home town of St Helens) without falling into the traps of the usual... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Ged
Liverpool is a very evocative city and no book I know of captures the essence of the history of the city and its people better than THE HURRICANE PORT. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Robert H. Taylor
My sister bought me this book for my birthday. Other reviewers have elliquently analysed and reflected on this work. Andrews creative and analytical style is superb. Read morePublished 11 months ago by R. W. Hughes
This is fascinating book. I was looking for a history of Liverpool, as my family had originated there in the 19c, and this book fitted the bill superbly. Read morePublished 11 months ago by John Clay
This is a wonderful book; A sustained, passionate, detailed account of Liverpool and its fortunes. The range of the material considered here is extraordinary and testament to a... Read morePublished 20 months ago by a crowley
The book "The Hurricane Port" by Andrew Lees depicts the dramatic social history of a legendary city. Read morePublished on 23 May 2014 by marianna Selikhova
This is a marvellous book. It is an amalgam of two stories; at one level a factual social history of Liverpool, a city with more ups and downs than a roller coaster, and the other... Read morePublished on 1 Mar. 2014 by JMBreckenridge
My husband really enjoyed this book, as he is a Liverpool Football fan. Well written by Liverpool born Andrew Lees.Published on 5 Dec. 2013 by sarah friedrich
Being expatriate Liverpudlian I am an avid buyer of all historical books and documents.
When I return to Liverpool which averages nearly once a year, I talk to many people... Read more