London

Two Killers Haunt 1950s London in ‘Death in the Air’

Lee Polevoi

Winkler describes these disparate events in impressive detail. She offers a chilling description of how abysmal government policies, combined with a bout of truly terrible weather, created the slaughterhouse effects of 1952. She writes with verve and sympathy about a handful of Christie’s victims, and seems to capture with disturbing accuracy the killer’s mental state as he commits and then hides the evidence of his monstrous crimes. 

Londoners: A Photo Essay

Miguel Lois

Beyond the media spectacle and daily tourists, a parallel world exists within London. A world that seems not to observe the visitor. A reality away from the opulence, the speed and the cosmopolitan daily routine. These are neighbors, people with experiences, or those with more or less truncated lives. People who move silently, unheard, ubiquitous among visitor masses, blind and hardworking.

 

One Nation Under CCTV: The Surveillance Society in Great Britain

John McGovern

While previous modes of discipline were more hidden and implicit in state control, the development of CCTV could be identified as a shift to a physical, identifiable sign of mass surveillance that has been developing for several centuries. This explicit form of surveillance certainly hints at ominous trends in Western society, which has sparked countless Orwellian allusions to Big Brother, but it may also offer an opportunity for change. 

London Calling: Celebrating the City’s Street Photography

Christopher Moraff

Suschitzky's photograph is one of 150 London street photos featured in the book London Street Photography 1860-2010 which was published in the U.K. last year to compliment a touring exhibit of the same name. The exhibit closed last month at the Museum of the City of New York, but the book is still available through Dewi Lewis Publishing. The collection features more than 70 photographers and spans three centuries – from the industrial revolution to the dawn of the information age – offering a glimpse of modern British history through the microcosm of life on its streets and avenues. 

Why the U.K. Is Ignoring Contactless Payment

Evelyn Robinson

While contactless credit cards have been available since 2008, when Barclaycard first released them, the actual usage of the cards has been very low. In fact, recent studies have found that of all the people that have contactless cards in their wallets, only a quarter have actually used them. That equates to around 5 percent of the UK population having actually used contactless payment. That's a  low figure in anyone's book - especially for a technology that's been around for more four years.

Zadie Smith Lays Claim to a Patch of London in ‘NW’

Lee Polevoi

Throughout NW, Smith demonstrates a deep understanding of the constant ebb and flow of human relationships—between mothers and daughters, between best friends, between a reformed addict determined to stay clean and his flamboyant, drug-using ex-girlfriend.  Even forewarned of an impending tragedy, the reader becomes so absorbed in these characters’ lives that when  calamity does strike, it comes as a breathtaking surprise and with a penetrating sense of loss.

Have Passport, Will Travel: Notes From a Globetrotter

Andrew Lam

To travel, to really lose oneself in a new setting, is, after all, to subvert. In that C-130 full of refugees, I was moving not only across the ocean but also from one set of psyche to another. Yesterday my inheritance was simple -- the sacred rice fields and rivers, what once owned me, defining who I was. Today, Paris and Hanoi and New York are no longer fantasies but a matter of scheduling. My imagination, once bound by a singular sense of geography, expanded its reference points across the border toward a cosmopolitan possibility.

Vacation in Europe: The Political Struggles of a Global Cosmopolitan

Maggie Hennefeld

I frame this story about my three-week getaway to Europe last summer by asking what it means for Americans to venture across the pond at this juncture in our history. How do we navigate foreign cultures during a moment when our own national obsessions, with everything from rape biology scandals to “Honey Boo Boo’s” Southern familial dysfunction, are more insular than ever? How can Americans abroad serve as global ambassadors when our own national discourse is emblematized by a Hollywood cowboy ranting at an empty chair while apostrophizing the President? 

How the Assange Case Catapulted Ecuador to the Limelight

Roger Burbach and Marc Becker

Rafael Correa, the president of one of South America's smallest countries with almost 15 million inhabitants is taking a dramatic stand against Great Britain, Sweden and the United States by granting political asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Correa in an address to the Ecuadorian people on Saturday said, “I don't know who they think I am or what they think our government is. But how could they expect us to yield to their threats or cower before them? My friends, they don't know who they are dealing with.”

John Lanchester Explores Money, Character and Destiny in ‘Capital’

Lee Polevoi

British author John Lanchester displays an impressive range of skills in his books—from a gourmand/serial killer’s disturbing confessions in his first novel, The Debt to Pleasure, to a beguiling memoir Family Romance and an incisive examination of the global economic crisis in IOU: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One can Pay! Lanchester’s interest in the global economy bears full fruit in Capital, the finest novel yet from this hugely talented writer.

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