From Manchester's deadly cotton works to London's literary salons, a brilliant exploration of how the Victorians created the modern city
Since Charles Dickens first described Coketown in Hard Times, the nineteenth-century city, born of the industrial revolution, has been a byword for deprivation, pollution, and criminality. Yet, as historian Tristram Hunt argues in this powerful new history, the Coketowns of the 1800s were far more than a monstrous landscape of factories and tenements. By 1851, more than half of Britain's population lived in cities, and even as these pioneers confronted a frightening new way of life, they produced an urban flowering that would influence the shape of cities for generations to come.
Drawing on diaries, newspapers, and classic works of fiction, Hunt shows how the Victorians translated their energy and ambition into realizing an astonishingly grand vision of the utopian city on a hill--the new Jerusalem. He surveys the great civic creations, from town halls to city squares, sidewalks, and even sewers, to reveal a story of middle-class power and prosperity and the liberating mission of city life. Vowing to emulate the city-states of Renaissance Italy, the Victorians worked to turn even the smokestacks of Manchester and Birmingham into sites of freedom and art. And they succeeded--until twentieth-century decline transformed wealthy metropolises into dangerous inner cities.
An original history of proud cities and confident citizens, Building Jerusalem depicts an unrivaled era that produced one of the great urban civilizations of Western history.
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Born in 1974, Tristram Hunt teaches modern British history at the University of London. He writes political and cultural commentary for the Los Angeles Times and Time magazine, and has authored numerous radio and television series for the BBC and Channel 4.
*Starred Review* London, Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, crucibles for the Industrial Revolution, horrified Blake with their "dark Satanic mills" and outraged Dickens with their scenes of Coketown squalor. But as a cultural historian, Hunt finds much more than pollution and poverty in the cities that made Victorian England the world's first truly urban society. He uncovers in these cities a remarkable range of municipal ambitions, as determined reformers fight to alleviate the misery of the crowded masses and as cosmopolitan artists stretch their talents for growing new audiences. Readers thus retrace the events that transform filthy streets into delightful thoroughfares connecting spacious and beautiful libraries, art galleries, churches, and civic halls. Hunt details the spirited debates over competing architectural styles--Greek, Gothic, Venetian--proposed for the new urban centers, locating these debates in a much larger clash of civic visions, progressive and reactionary. Personalities as well as principles collided in this struggle to define municipal life, the moralists Carlyle and Ruskin looming especially large. But it is a healthy ferment that Hunt sees in the conflicts over how best to establish social order in the burgeoning cities, the best and brightest Victorian minds joining to meet the shared challenge of creating a humane urban world. Because much of what the Victorian titans achieved toward that end has since been lost in the twentieth-century flight to suburbia, Hunt concludes by posing hard questions about how policymakers might now renew neglected ideals of municipal citizenship. An enlightening historical context for urgent current issues. Bryce Christensen
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Descripción Metropolitan Books, 2005. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0805080260
Descripción Metropolitan Books, 2005. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 0805080260
Descripción Metropolitan Books, 2005. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería P110805080260
Descripción Estado de conservación: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Nº de ref. de la librería 97808050802611.0
Descripción Metropolitan Books. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0805080260 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW6.0463423