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How Manchester became the world's pop culture capital
on 20 October 2000
As a New Order fan from high school onward, Manchester was always this mythical, hallowed ground which dictated pop culture and produced the best bands, best fashion trends, best clubs...When I finally made it to Manchester, I was not disappointed in the least. But I could not explain just how Manchester achieved that status, nor why I felt more connected as an American to Manchester, whereas London was more foreign. Then I read Dave Haslam's absolutely outstanding "Manchester, England." I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Haslam details Manchester's interest and delight in popular culture from the Industrial Revolution onwards. Of course, the clubs, fashion, music, and social problems of the last three decades feature prominently. But as an American, what I found especially enlightening was Manchester's long history of absorbing American pop culture, and then refashioning it into something of its own. It was only when I read this that I began to understand my own connection to the city.