Johnson's Life of London: The People Who Made the City That Made the World

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9780007418930: Johnson's Life of London: The People Who Made the City That Made the World

London is special. For centuries, it has been amongst the greatest cities of the world. But a city is nothing without its people. This sparkling new history of London, told through a relay-race of great Londoners shows in one, personality-packed book that the ingenuity, diversity, creativity and enterprise of London are second to none.

Boris Johnson believes that in order to understand London one has to know about its past. The heart and spirit of London lies in its people, in the range of its cultures. Through its diversity and energy, London provides an environment which empowers people to create, the impetus to invent. Boris Johnson’s new book explores this cross current of influences between Westminster and the City, between the politicians and the wealth creators, over many centuries from Boudacea to the Rolling Stones.

JOHNSON’S LIFE OF LONDON – a fitting tribute of course to one of the greatest Londoners – celebrates many of the characters who have made this city great. Boris’s book provides a chronological story of London but is written in the form of a relay race of biographies – some very famous figures, some more obscure. He ranges from the Romans to one of the author’s predecessors as mayor, Dick Whittington; from John Wilkes (a strong upholder of the freedom of the press) to J.W. Turner; from Chaucer to Gandhi, and through to modern times.

Boris Johnson writes with wit and erudition, providing the reader with delightful insights. The book discovers London as none of us have seen it before and the journey is exhilarating and surprising .

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Review:

“Revealing anecdotes go far beyond familiar guide-book tales…Johnson’s unerring eye for detail catches your attention but also moves his story on…Johnson sets out his stall for London’s future with such patent sincerity that you’d have to be stony-hearted not to go along for the ride” Mail on Sunday

“As the thumbnail sketches accumulate, we come to realise just how like Boris all the London heroes have been” Evening Standard

“Boris’s book is half the size, a lighter weight in every way….it is the work of a journalist….someone with a love of painting word pictures ….this is a book of hidden gems….his vocabulary is extraordinary and his polymathery a joy….as he cycles through history….we glimpse him everywhere….it is best when Boris’s enthusiasms are on display, as exuberant as a vase of bird-of-paradise blooms” The Times

“Johnson’s sketchbook diverts……(while) Livingstone’s doorstop apologia will try the patience of the most obsessional geek”. The Independent

About the Author:

Boris Johnson was elected Mayor of London in May 2008. Before this he was the Editor of the Spectator and Member of Parliament for Henley on Thames. He is the author of many books, notably Have I Got Views for You and Dream of Rome.

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