Synopses & Reviews
andldquo;A pleasure to read. Broich demonstrates that the resolution of the problems of supplying water to Londonandmdash;the first world cityandmdash;hampered as it had been by deeply entrenched interests, brought about a new level of ideological politicization of the water industry in Britain. He shows how the dynamics of andlsquo;progressandrsquo; and inertia are not straightforward.andrdquo;andmdash;Raymond Smith, independent environmental historian
andldquo;Much more than an account of the watering of a great metropolis, Broichandrsquo;s book reminds us that cities are infrastructural achievements, that creating infrastructure is complicated and divisive and yet profoundly transformative.andrdquo;
andmdash;Christopher Hamlin, University of Notre Dame
andldquo;In this clearly written study . . . the author offers fresh insights into the intricate political maneuverings dealing with London water policy, the tension between Parliament and devolved local authorities, and laissez-faire dogma versus Fabian socialism. . . . A concise, useful examination of a key aspect of Londonandrsquo;s modern development.andrdquo;
and#147;This book provides a detailed narrative of the shift from private to public enterprise in the nineteenth century . . . Its long-term contribution will be to add to our knowledge of how the nineteenth century created not only the idea of controlling private enterprise but the concept of public enterprise, notably in the form of grandiose water schemes which survive today and to which we remain much in debt.and#8221;
As people crowded into British cities in the nineteenth century, industrial and biological waste byproducts, and then epidemic followed. Britons died by the thousands in recurring plagues. Figures like Edwin Chadwick and John Snow pleaded for measures that could save lives and preserve the social fabric. In London: Water and the Making of the Modern City, John Broich follows the politically charged and arduous task of bringing a municipal water supply to one of the worldandrsquo;s most complex urban environments.
About the Author
John Broich is assistant professor of the history of modern Britain and its empire at Case Western Reserve University.