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

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

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By (author) Boris Johnson

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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.

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Author information

Boris Johnson is the very popular and internationally known Mayor of London. Educated at Oxford, he began his career as a journalist, writing for the Times and the Telegraph (for whom he still contributes a regular column), and working his way up to editor of the Spectator. He is the author of Johnson's Life of London (Riverhead, 2012) and The Churchill Factor (Riverhead, 2014). He was elected to the House of Commons in 2001 and served there until he was elected Mayor in 2008. Johnson is a regular on British television and radio. He lives in London with his wife and four children.

Review quote

"With the wit and wisdom for which he is famous, Boris Johnson tells the story of the vibrant city he fell in love with long before he grew up to run it." -- Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg "Boris Johnson is Britain's most popular politician. He is also its wittiest--and most erudite. In this book he turns his love for London and his stint as its mayor into an edifying and entertaining romp. There is no voice on the international political stage, and few within the pages of any book, as eclectic, learned, hilarious, and wonderful as his. Not since Winston Churchill has a future Prime Minister of Britain written so well." -- Michael Wolff, "Vanity Fair " "Engaging ... a highly entertaining work of popular history." - " ""A lively thematic guide...the author shows that there is much more to London than Big Ben, London Bridge and William Shakespeare."" - Kirkus " "An entertainingly irreverent take on a powerhouse city." "- Library Journal " "A sparkling blend of history, biography, and geography...Johnson's exuberant paean makes a persuasive case that genius breeds genius." - "The New York Times Book Review " "[A] chummy, chatty history...[Boris] has a flair for describing personalities." --"Smithsonian " "Publishers Weekly "