Streetlife: The Untold History of Europe's Twentieth Century

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9780199671168: Streetlife: The Untold History of Europe's Twentieth Century

The twentieth century in Europe was an urban century: it was shaped by life in, and the view from, the street.
Women were not liberated in legislatures, but liberated themselves in factories, homes, nightclubs, and shops.

Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini made themselves powerful by making cities ungovernable with riots rampaging through streets, bars occupied one-by-one. New forms of privacy and isolation were not simply a by-product of prosperity, but because people planned new ways of living, new forms of housing in suburbs and estates across the continent. Our proudest cultural achievements lie not in our galleries or state theatres, but in our suburban TV sets, the dance halls, pop music played in garages, and hip hop sung on our estates.

In Streetlife, Leif Jerram presents a totally new history of the twentieth century, with the city at its heart, showing how everything distinctive about the century, from revolution and dictatorship to sexual liberation, was fundamentally shaped by the great urban centres which defined it.

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About the Author:

Leif Jerram was born in Woolwich in south-east London in 1971, and lived there until he went to study history at university. After having lived in San Diego, Bremen, Munich and Paris, he settled in Manchester to do his PhD - the first industrial city. There he has remained, barring a brief stint as a fellow at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He is currently a lecturer in urban history in the School of Arts at Manchester University, as well as being involved in community politics and activism. He has published widely in the field of cultural and urban history, including most recently Germany's Other Modernity: Munich and the Making of Metropolis, 1895-1930.


Review from previous edition: "Brilliant and provocative, Leif Jerram's Streetlife is a compelling history of Europe's cities in the twentieth century. More than this, it makes a powerful case for the centrality of place in modern experience; 'where' things happen, Jerram argues, matters every bit as much as 'what' and 'why'. With wit and a superb eye for detail he enables us to sense what it was like to be there, to inhabit the streets, dance-halls and homes of cities like Berlin, Moscow and Manchester. This is urban history for the twenty-first century - passionate, political and a pleasure to read." --Simon Gunn, Centre for Urban History, University of Leicester

"An unromanticized. sweeping and informed cultural history of European histories in the long twentieth century...Streetlife is a remarkable work of synthesis...Jerram condenses a prodigious amount of historicl scholarship with impressive economy and judiciousness." --Anson Rabinbach, Times Literary Supplement 01/08/2011

"A highly impressive read. The clever navigation between history writ large and the anecdotal...makes this book not only academically engaging but also an enjoyable read. Streetlife is an important work for anyone interested in urban history." --Reviews in History

"An enjoyably idiosyncratic and provocative journey" --Financial Times 07/05/2011

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