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London Labour and the London Poor
London Labour and the London Poor
by Henry Mayhew
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.04

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a unique collection, 4 Jan. 2012
a first hand accounts of discussions with london's working and non working poor. utterly facinating and so far as I know unique, with accounts on long lost habits and jobs. i must admit that unlike other reviewers i did not come away from this booking respecting mayhew. there is a voyeuristic and judgemental element to the writing which is distastful to the modern reader. i sometimes wondered whether the accounts, whilst entertaining, were entirely true: they typically mix tales of poverty with a narrative celebrating the stoicism of the working poor (in mayhew's interviews they generally seem to accept, even express happiness, with their lot and certainly do not appear to want protective laws or help), or condemning the immoral or lazy. maybe i missed something - but mayhew did not emerge as a deliberate agent of reform, but rather as a preacher - in one remarkable passage he blames vagrancy on the existence of charitable lodging houses which in his eyes ended up helping only the underserving! nevertheless a fascinating read.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 10, 2014 7:13 PM BST

The Blackest Streets: The Life and Death of a Victorian Slum
The Blackest Streets: The Life and Death of a Victorian Slum
by Sarah Wise
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what the big society looked like, 4 Jan. 2012
i loved this book. the story of how victorian britain obfuscated and avoided taking effective action to reduce cronic poverty in an area of east london. what's so facinating is the similarity of the language used then and now: the undeserving poor, morally depraved, for whom intervention would only create dependancy, the reliance on ineffective and ego driven efforts from charities. meanwhile landowners (often the same reformers who were claiming a desire to benefit the area) were quietly pocketing the extortionate rents. Sound familiar?

Round the Bend
Round the Bend
by Jeremy Clarkson
Edition: Hardcover

12 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars urgh, 6 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Round the Bend (Hardcover)
i had the misfortune to read some of this material. i seldom write reviews but was moved to express what a sickening collection of crap i found it to be. its hard to believe this man believes any of the lazy, misinformed and hatefilled junk he writes (he could easily farm the task out to EDL members - much of the writing appears to share a similar sensibility and intellect). He either believes it, or simply spouts this idiocy for cash. Either way - what sort of man does it make him? Certainly one who does not deserve a single further penny of licence fee payers money. Why are we providing him a BBC platform from which to further his dreadful agenda with all those carefully worded "shocking" comments and sell more rubbish like this? Awful book, awful man.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 12, 2012 7:39 PM GMT

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