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A brilliant, acclaimed book which examines one of the world's greatest cities during one of the most tumultuous centuries.

In 1901, London was the greatest city the world had seen in size, wealth and grandeur. Yet it was also a city where poverty and disease were rife. London in 2001 was no longer among the world's very largest cities, but was still one where vast wealth was displayed - alongside beggars sleeping rough. Such paradoxes are among the defining experiences of living in London in this extraordinary century, and in this colourful book Jerry White tells the story not just of London, but of Londoners too. He examines the changes on the worlds of work, transport, popular culture, politics and government and shows how London affects its inhabitants, shaping their lives and being shaped in turn by them. Beautifully illustrated and with a wealth of detail, this is a definitive and highly readable history of London in the twentieth century.


A fair-minded, illuminating guide. White is plainly fascinated by London, and for anyone who shares that fascination his book offers many rewards.

Times Literary Supplement

Succeeds brilliantly....weighty, lucid and engaging.


A fascinating story and an outstanding contribution to the study of London history.


Engaging, optimistic and enthusiastic, and very funny.

Daily Telegraph

A wonderful book. I passionately urge people to read it from cover to cover.

Roy Porter

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Formats & editions

  • EBook


    September 1, 2010

    Vintage Digital

    560 pages

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