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A Journey Through Ruins: The Last Days of London Paperback – 26 Feb 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 397 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (26 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199541949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199541942
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 488,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


The chapter on the national trust is among the best and most original writing...I've ever read. (Vera Rule, The Guardian)

From the Back Cover

'A Journey Through Ruins' is a fascinating, seminal and unique portrait of Britain. From his pointed observations of East London – especially of its post-war reconstruction – Patrick Wright builds an arresting, controversial new understanding of this country from the ruins of the past. With a meticulous, mischievous eye for extracting the true meaning of everyday events and objects, Wright focuses on a culture that, in the very process of offering paternalistic care for its people, has veered dangerously off-course – but he also spots some rays of light and zest for life to be savoured and nurtured.

“A funny and perceptive book which is part oral history and part journalism, part generalization and part scholarship – an intriguing and attractive amalgam”

“Astute and imaginative … An immensely heartening book … Here is a city dweller with the gusto of Baudelaire and the eye of Jane Jacobs who, undeterred by dog shit and bullshit, enjoys the chaotic humanity, the ironic architectural juxtapositions, the 'esprit de jeu' of late twentieth-century London”

“The big buzz that comes from reading Patrick Wright’s historiographical jaunt through the post-war junk landscape … is its ‘cool topicality’”

“Wright belongs in a select club of literary sleuths who have imagined London as a labyrinth of strange affinities … A pin-sharp miniaturist who can see the world in a grain of sand”

“Sheer good writing, sense and humanity”

“Essential reading”


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