The Secret History of Our 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. Each has a fascinating story of its own. Together, their stories reveal the big underlying forces that have shaped Britain for the last 120 years: gentrification, migration, slum clearance, property speculation and the urban sprawl.
The six streets and larger themes they address are 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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