The Secret History of Our Streets: London : a Social History Through the Houses and Streets We Live in
A history of modern Britain told through the stories of the houses and streets we live in, Our Secret Streets explores one of the great forces shaping our lives: property. Why we live where we live, and how that choice informs the lives we lead. In a modern version of a classic survey from the 19th century, this remarkable book tells the story of six London streets, representing the widest possible picture of the city both socially and geographically: Deptford High Street, Portland Road in Notting Hill, Reverdy Road in Bermondsey, Caledonian Road, Arnold Circus and Camberwell Grove. Each has a fascinating story of its own, from the rich being pushed out by the super-rich in Notting Hill to the first public housing scheme being launched in the East End. Together, their stories reveal the big underlying forces that have shaped Britain for the last 120 years: gentrification, migration, slum clearance, property speculation, the rural being subsumed by the urban. Our Secret Streets is the untold social history of the streets we walk down every day, and a groundbreaking social document of modern Britain's changing class and social system. The six streets and larger themes they address: Deptford High Street - the mania for re-development, slum clearances Portland Road - gentrification and 'super-gentrification' (the rich being pushed out by the super-rich) Reverdy Road - the white working class, the Blitz and redevelopment Caledonian Road - ownership and landlords, the prison Arnold Circus - public housing Camberwell Grove - the disappearance of rural idyll, the rise of the suburbs
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