Estates: An Intimate History

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Granta, 2007 - Political Science - 244 pages
Britain's council estates have become a media shorthand for poverty, social mayhem, drugs, drink, and violence—the social ills they were built to cure. How did homes built to improve people's lives end up doing the opposite? Is their reputation fair, and if so who is to blame? Lynsey Hanley was born and raised on what was then the largest council estate in Europe, and she has lived for years on an estate in London's East End. Writing with passion, humor, and a sense of history, she recounts the rise of social housing a century ago, its adoption as a fundamental right by leaders of the social welfare state in mid-century, and its decline in the 1960s and 70s. What emerges is a vivid mix of memoir and social history, an engaging and illuminating book about a corner of society that the rest of Britain has left in the dark.

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User Review  - Bagpuss - LibraryThing

I really enjoy works of social history. Whether fiction or non-fiction, generally the ones I have read have taken place at the beginning of the 20th century, and most are about poverty. This book ... Read full review

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User Review  - jcbrunner - LibraryThing

A very good read about social housing in Britain that confirms the old saying that services for the poor become poor services. After the horror of the First World War, many nations in Europe started ... Read full review


Introduction 1
The Rise of the Council

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About the author (2007)

Lynsey Hanley is a writer for the Observer and the New Statesmen.

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