Andy Daitsman adaitsma at
Thu Jul 13 11:01:02 MDT 1995

All this talk about Hillary Wainwright and the GLC makes me want to plug a
new book by a colleague of mine here at Trinity:

JS3625 .P46 1995

     Personal author: Pennybacker, Susan D. (Susan Dabney), 1953-
               Title: A vision for London, 1889-1914 : labour, everyday life
                      and the LCC experiment / Susan D. Pennybacker.
    Publication info: London ; New York : Routledge, 1995.
Physical description: p. cm.

So far, it's only been released in the UK and Routledge only did a hardcover
run, which means it's kind of expensive in the US.  I think there's going to
be a US release in the fall, but still only in cloth.

I haven't read it yet, so I can't comment in detail, but this is what the
blurb says:

"The London County Council [previous incarnation of the GLC] was the world's
largest municipal government and a laboratory for social experimentation
before the Great War.  It sought to master the problems of metropolitan
amelioration, political economy and public culture.

"Pennybacker's social history tests the vision of London Progressivism
against its practitioners' accomplishments.  She argues that the historical
memory of the hopes inspired by LCC achievement and the disillusions spawned
by failure, are potent forces in today's deeply ambivalent responses to
metropolitan politics in London.

"The 'new women', bohemian London, scandal in the building industry,
midwifery, lodging houses, children's provision and the music hall were all
provocative issues in LCC work.  Their story richly evokes life in the
turn-of-the-century metropolis and illustrates the complexities of
'municipal socialism.'"

Looks to me like its relevant for any appreciation of the GLC now that it's


PS.  Some of you asked me pointed questions about my vision for socialist
transformation.  As I'm right in the middle of finishing the conclusion of
my dissertation, I've kind of pointedly avoided answering those questions
for a little while.  But the conclusion should be done today, and I hope to
try and answer some of those questions tomorrow.  Life happens, you know...


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