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

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

ISBN13: 9781594487477
ISBN10: 1594487472
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From Londons inimitable mayor, Boris Johnson, the story of how Churchills eccentric genius shaped not only his world but our own.

 

On the fiftieth anniversary of Churchills death, Boris Johnson celebrates the singular brilliance of one of the most important leaders of the twentieth century. Taking on the myths and misconceptions along with the outsized reality, he portrays—with characteristic wit and passion—a man of contagious bravery, breathtaking eloquence, matchless strategizing, and deep humanity.

 

Fearless on the battlefield, Churchill had to be ordered by the king to stay out of action on D-Day; he pioneered aerial bombing and few could match his experience in organizing violence on a colossal scale,  yet he hated war and scorned politicians who had not experienced its horrors. He was the most famous journalist of his time and perhaps the greatest orator of all time, despite a lisp and chronic depression he kept at bay by painting. His maneuvering positioned America for entry into World War II, even as it ushered in Englands post-war decline. His openmindedness made him a trailblazer in health care, education, and social welfare, though he remained incorrigibly politically incorrect. Most of all, he was a rebuttal to the idea that history is the story of vast and impersonal forces; he is proof that one person—intrepid, ingenious, determined—can make all the difference.

 

Review:

"Colorful London mayor Johnson (The Dream of Rome) profiles 18 people, beginning with the Celtic queen Boudica and ending with Keith Richards, to produce an engaging if uneven history of 'his' city. He opts for a mix of familiar names like Shakespeare and Churchill along with such lesser-known figures as Robert Hooke, a 17th-century inventor and rival of Isaac Newton, and W.T. Stead, a journalist who wrote prurient exposés of Victorian London's prostitution trade. Johnson's litany also includes a few names that may be unfamiliar to American readers, including Richard Whittington, a medieval banker celebrated in Christmas pantomime, and Mary Seacole, a black woman who served alongside Florence Nightingale as a nurse in the Crimean War. Acknowledging his debt to previous historians, Johnson focuses on making his subjects accessible to a general readership, anachronistically dubbing Boudica, London's 'first banker-basher,' and comparing Lionel Rothschild to the comedy Trading Places. His political agenda (he faces a new election in 2012) is hard to miss, but not intrusive enough to dampen the pleasures of his lively, informal prose. Johnson's brilliantly vivid portraits of his namesake Samuel and the foppish 18th-century radical John Wilkes make up for an embarrassingly self-indulgent tribute to Keith Richards and mark a highly entertaining work of popular history. Agent: Elyse Cheney. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

The exhilarating story of how London came to be one of the most exciting and influential places on earth—from the city’s colorful, witty, and well-known mayor.

Once a swampland that the Romans could hardly be bothered to conquer, over the centuries London became an incomparably vibrant metropolis that has produced a steady stream of ingenious, original, and outsized figures who have shaped the world we know.

Boris Johnson, the internationally beloved mayor of London, is the best possible guide to these colorful characters and the history in which they played such lively roles. Erudite and entertaining, he narrates the story of London as a kind of relay race. Beginning with the days when “a bunch of pushy Italian immigrants” created Londinium, he passes the torch on down through the famous and the infamous, the brilliant and the bizarre—from Hadrian to Samuel Johnson to Winston Churchill to the Rolling Stones—illuminating with unforgettable clarity the era each inhabited. He also pauses to shine a light on innovations that have contributed to the city’s incomparable vibrancy, from the King James Bible to the flush toilet.

As wildly entertaining as it is informative, this is an irresistible account of the city and people that in large part shaped the world we know.

Synopsis:

London is still the mother ship for Americans, many of whom share the opinion of its tousle-headed, bicycle-riding mayor - that indeed it's the best city in the world. And as the capital takes center of the world stage with the 2012 Olympics, who better than Boris (as he is known) to convey how London became one of the most exciting and influential places on Earth?

Wearing his brilliance and erudition with characteristic wit, Boris narrates the story of his city as a kind of relay race of outsized characters, beginning with the days when "a bunch of pushy Italians" created Londinium. He passes the torch on down through a procession of the famous and infamous, the brilliant and the bizarre - from Hadrian to Shakespeare to Florence Nightingale to the Rolling Stones- illuminating with unforgettable clarity each figure and the era he or she inhabited. He also pauses to shine a light on places and developments that have contributed to the city's incomparable vibrancy, from the flush toilet to the King James Bible. As wildly entertaining as it is informative, this is an irresistible account of the city and people that in large part shaped the world we know. 

About the Author

Boris Johnson is the popular and internationally known mayor of London and the author of several previous books. He began his career as a journalist, working his way up to editor of The Spectator. He was then elected to the House of Commons and served there until he was elected mayor in 2008. 

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

David Myers, March 5, 2013 (view all comments by David Myers)
Boris Johnson’s The Life of London makes all those dreary documentaries of English history that you’ve seen on The History Channel or BBC America come alive with wit and perspective. Boris Johnson illustrates the history of England by examining the lives of key individuals from Roman times to the present day. The book is so cleverly written and so amusing and yet so historically accurate that I was sad when it ended and wished there had been even more to read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
David Myers, March 5, 2013 (view all comments by David Myers)
Boris Johnson’s The Life of London makes all those dreary documentaries of English history that you’ve seen on The History Channel or BBC America come alive with wit and perspective. Boris Johnson illustrates the history of England by examining the lives of key individuals from Roman times to the present day. The book is so cleverly written and so amusing and yet so historically accurate that I was sad when it ended and wished there had been even more to read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
David Myers, March 5, 2013 (view all comments by David Myers)
Boris Johnson’s The Life of London makes all those dreary documentaries of English history that you’ve seen on The History Channel or BBC America come alive with wit and perspective. Boris Johnson illustrates the history of England by examining the lives of key individuals from Roman times to the present day. The book is so cleverly written and so amusing and yet so historically accurate that I was sad when it ended and wished there had been even more to read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594487477
Subtitle:
How One Man Made History
Author:
Johnson, Boris
Publisher:
Riverhead Hardcover
Subject:
Great britain
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20141113
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


Biography » General
Featured Titles » General
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » London
History and Social Science » World History » England » General
History and Social Science » World History » England » London
History and Social Science » World History » General

Johnson's Life of London: The People Who Made the City That Made the World Used Hardcover
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$16.50 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Riverhead Books - English 9781594487477 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Colorful London mayor Johnson (The Dream of Rome) profiles 18 people, beginning with the Celtic queen Boudica and ending with Keith Richards, to produce an engaging if uneven history of 'his' city. He opts for a mix of familiar names like Shakespeare and Churchill along with such lesser-known figures as Robert Hooke, a 17th-century inventor and rival of Isaac Newton, and W.T. Stead, a journalist who wrote prurient exposés of Victorian London's prostitution trade. Johnson's litany also includes a few names that may be unfamiliar to American readers, including Richard Whittington, a medieval banker celebrated in Christmas pantomime, and Mary Seacole, a black woman who served alongside Florence Nightingale as a nurse in the Crimean War. Acknowledging his debt to previous historians, Johnson focuses on making his subjects accessible to a general readership, anachronistically dubbing Boudica, London's 'first banker-basher,' and comparing Lionel Rothschild to the comedy Trading Places. His political agenda (he faces a new election in 2012) is hard to miss, but not intrusive enough to dampen the pleasures of his lively, informal prose. Johnson's brilliantly vivid portraits of his namesake Samuel and the foppish 18th-century radical John Wilkes make up for an embarrassingly self-indulgent tribute to Keith Richards and mark a highly entertaining work of popular history. Agent: Elyse Cheney. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,

The exhilarating story of how London came to be one of the most exciting and influential places on earth—from the city’s colorful, witty, and well-known mayor.

Once a swampland that the Romans could hardly be bothered to conquer, over the centuries London became an incomparably vibrant metropolis that has produced a steady stream of ingenious, original, and outsized figures who have shaped the world we know.

Boris Johnson, the internationally beloved mayor of London, is the best possible guide to these colorful characters and the history in which they played such lively roles. Erudite and entertaining, he narrates the story of London as a kind of relay race. Beginning with the days when “a bunch of pushy Italian immigrants” created Londinium, he passes the torch on down through the famous and the infamous, the brilliant and the bizarre—from Hadrian to Samuel Johnson to Winston Churchill to the Rolling Stones—illuminating with unforgettable clarity the era each inhabited. He also pauses to shine a light on innovations that have contributed to the city’s incomparable vibrancy, from the King James Bible to the flush toilet.

As wildly entertaining as it is informative, this is an irresistible account of the city and people that in large part shaped the world we know.

"Synopsis" by ,
London is still the mother ship for Americans, many of whom share the opinion of its tousle-headed, bicycle-riding mayor - that indeed it's the best city in the world. And as the capital takes center of the world stage with the 2012 Olympics, who better than Boris (as he is known) to convey how London became one of the most exciting and influential places on Earth?

Wearing his brilliance and erudition with characteristic wit, Boris narrates the story of his city as a kind of relay race of outsized characters, beginning with the days when "a bunch of pushy Italians" created Londinium. He passes the torch on down through a procession of the famous and infamous, the brilliant and the bizarre - from Hadrian to Shakespeare to Florence Nightingale to the Rolling Stones- illuminating with unforgettable clarity each figure and the era he or she inhabited. He also pauses to shine a light on places and developments that have contributed to the city's incomparable vibrancy, from the flush toilet to the King James Bible. As wildly entertaining as it is informative, this is an irresistible account of the city and people that in large part shaped the world we know. 

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