Estates: An Intimate History

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Granta, 2007 - Political Science - 244 pages
16 Reviews
Britain's council estates have become a media shorthand for poverty, social mayhem, drugs, drink, and violence—the social ills they were built to cure. How did homes built to improve people's lives end up doing the opposite? Is their reputation fair, and if so who is to blame? Lynsey Hanley was born and raised on what was then the largest council estate in Europe, and she has lived for years on an estate in London's East End. Writing with passion, humor, and a sense of history, she recounts the rise of social housing a century ago, its adoption as a fundamental right by leaders of the social welfare state in mid-century, and its decline in the 1960s and 70s. What emerges is a vivid mix of memoir and social history, an engaging and illuminating book about a corner of society that the rest of Britain has left in the dark.

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A fascinating book based on first-hand experience. The author's political inclination is evident, but this isn't merely a political science book, but more of social history.

Review: Estates: An Intimate History

User Review  - Rachella Sinclair - Goodreads

Hanley's concept of the wall in the head was a life-changing revelation for me. i've read this book twice and will probably read again. Read full review


This Must Be the Place I Waited Years
The Rise of the Council

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About the author (2007)

Lynsey Hanley is a writer for the Observer and the New Statesmen.

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