About the book
Described by the Times Higher Education magazine as a "gorgeous little book", 1930s London - The Modern City takes the reader on a journey through the city as it was lived at home, work and leisure, and everywhere in between, showing that 1930s London was about much more than cloche hats and art deco. Innovations in infrastructure, design and engineering produced not just iconic buildings and interiors, but pioneering advances in communication and transport as well as new ways of shopping and relaxing. This book reveals that these changes were part of the city’s drive towards a modern way of life that was both ordinary and glorious.
Available now from Amazon.
About the author
Michael John Law, known as John, has a Master's degree in London Studies and a PhD on the history of interwar suburban automobility. He has published with Manchester University Press and featured on BBC Radio 4. John is a research fellow at the University of Westminster.
“This was the modern world: the technology-driven decade in which a future was imagined and built. Law’s gorgeous little book pairs gleaming black and white photos with elegant text that is as alert to the human story - from cottaging to suburban cottage nostalgia and from Ken “Snakehips” Johnson to assembly line workers - as it is to all those beautiful, beautiful lines. Ghosts and survivors alike are paid tribute: Lubetkin’s Finsbury Health Centre, the Dollis Hill District Synagogue, Kensal House, the Lawn Road Flats, Cockfosters Tube station, the Philco and Electroflo factories, along with robots, cranes and car crashes - and, always and everywhere and all too rare in this kind of book, the people.”
"Michael John Law's exploration into 1930s London is a gem. It is engagingly written and beautifully illustrated, and more importantly, full of intriguing insights and asides about a decade that deserves our attention. Law shows us how the sites and spaces of this extraordinary city play such an important role in shaping the everyday lives of its residents. As a Londoner myself, it was a pleasure to learn more about the parts of London that have been home to me as a child and are again now as an adult. Highly recommended."
"Michael John Law’s work casts a fresh eye on an under-examined decade of London’s history. Using unfamiliar, bold images he lays out a convincing argument that the 1930s was a key period in the development of the city in which we live today, the modern city. Covering sites and sights both familiar and off the beaten track his book is an entertaining and scholarly encouragement to see London anew, whether for budding Londonists or experienced metropolitan explorers."
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