Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian

Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City From Manchester s deadly cotton works to London s literary salons, a brilliant exploration of how the Victorians created the modern city Since Charles Dickens first described Coketown in Hard Times, the nineteenth century city, born of the industrial revolution, has been a byword for deprivation, pollution, and criminality Yet, as historian Tristram Hunt argues in this powerful new history, the Coketowns of the s were far than a monstrous landscape of factories and tenements By , than half of Britain s population lived in cities, and even as these pioneers confronted a frightening new way of life, they produced an urban flowering that would influence the shape of cities for generations to come Drawing on diaries, newspapers, and classic works of fiction, Hunt shows how the Victorians translated their energy and ambition into realizing an astonishingly grand vision of the utopian city on a hill the new Jerusalem He surveys the great civic creations, from town halls to city squares, sidewalks, and even sewers, to reveal a story of middle class power and prosperity and the liberating mission of city life Vowing to emulate the city states of Renaissance Italy, the Victorians worked to turn even the smokestacks of Manchester and Birmingham into sites of freedom and art And they succeeded until twentieth century decline transformed wealthy metropolises into dangerous inner cities An original history of proud cities and confident citizens, Building Jerusalem depicts an unrivaled era that produced one of the great urban civilizations of Western history

About the Author: Tristram Hunt

Tristram Hunt is the author of Marx s General The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels and Building Jerusalem The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City One of Britain s leading young historians, he writes regularly for The Guardian, The Observer, and The Times, and has broadcast numerous series for the BBC A lecturer in history at the University of London, Hunt represents Stoke on Trent in the British Parliament, where he serves as the education spokesman for the Labour Party.

10 thoughts on “Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City

  1. says:

    Reading this book I wonder why Labour have Tristram Hunt as Shadow education and not fronting down Pickles and his crew so intent on destroying local government.A readable walk through of the ideas and people who shaped ideas of municipal government in our big cities in the 19thC, full of men

  2. says:

    This is less a history of Victorian cities than an intellectual history of Victorians relationship to modernity and industrialization, of which, of course, cities were one important part It s rambling, but rarely boring.Hunt begins with the dolorous statistics on life in early Victorian cities In pla

  3. says:

    Pulling together an extensive array of primary sources, Building Jerusalem charts how the idea of the city developed throughout the Victorian era a truly fascinating and pertinent topic One of the very few criticisms is that, when discussing the opposition to Joseph Chamberlain, Hunt quite suddenly begins u

  4. says:

    Tristram Hunt, better known as Labour MP and sometimes Guardian columnist, offers a survey of conceptions of the city as it underwent rapid and seismic change in the Victorian era This isn t a timeline history of industrialisation and urbanisation, but an exploration of how both the elite and popular society under

  5. says:

    Considering its rave reviews, I found this book rather disappointing Only those who enjoy reading history as a list of white businessmen politicians and the buildings they erected will find something for them in Building Jerusalem The tidbits of biography and historical detail nipped from primary sources are unfortunatel

  6. says:

    This marvelous history takes us through the low and high points of the development of the British cities of the 19th century The Industrial Revolution greatly expanded the urban population, but also brought with it poverty and dismal living conditions among the new underclass Hunt shows how individuals with a Catholic or Non Co

  7. says:

    This isn t about the lived reality of Victorian cities but about the ideas informing the shape of the city and how people, especially people of influence, envisioned the city and what it meant to live in one Victorians really believed in the possibilities of urban life and the importance of maintaining, or creating, vibrant city space

  8. says:

    I think the title is a mistake a grabber for fans of William Blake and Monty Python, but maybe a turn off for other prospective readers Which is too bad, because the book is unusually lively for a 500 page history of English cities and how they grew Lotsforeign influences than I suspected on the architecture, most intriguingly to me The poli

  9. says:

    Stimulating and enjoyable a great help in understanding the development of our major cities Issues concentrates too much on a few cities Manchester, Birmingham to the exclusion of other provincial towns and cities, and does not spend enough time on London far too hard on suburbs and new towns, which is where most people live, andsignificantly, wher

  10. says:

    A lot of interesting info never really went anywhere

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