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Cover for A New Kind of Bleak

A New Kind of Bleak

Journeys Through Urban Britain

Owen Hatherley


List Price: 19.95*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (7/31/2012)


This is what austerity looks like: a nation surviving on the results of what conservatives privately call “the progressive nonsense” of the Big Society agenda.

In a journey that begins and ends in the capital, but takes in Belfast, Aberdeen, Plymouth and Brighton, Hatherley explores modern Britain’s urban landscape and finds a short-sighted disarray of empty buildings, malls and glass towers. Yet while A New Kind of Bleak anatomizes “broken Britain,” Hatherley also looks to a hopeful future and discovers fragments of what it might look like.

Illustrated by Laura Oldfield Ford, author and artist of Savage Messiah.

Praise For A New Kind of Bleak: Journeys Through Urban Britain

“A humanely barbed Nikolaus Pevsner for our times ... This book should be required reading for planners, developers and architects.”—Independent

“Hatherley has busily constructed a cult reputation as the angry young man of architectural criticism.”—Guardian

“Engaging, fearless and startlingly intelligent polemicist.”—Time Out

“Essential reading for anyone who ever feels their blood start to boil when they hear the word ‘regeneration.’”—Hari Kunzru

“Owen Hatherley brings to bear a quizzing eye, venomous wit, supple prose, refusal to curry favour, rejection of received ideas, exhaustive knowledge and all-round bolshiness.”—Jonathan Meades

“Fierce and original.”—Andy Beckett, Guardian

“He writes with venom and flare ... [It is] refreshing to see politics reintroduced to the architectural debate.”—Edwin Heathcote, Financial Times

“[A] bracing antidote to the faux-chumminess of so much British cultural discourse.”—Sukhdev Sandhu, Icon

“A timely counterpoint to Britain’s jubilee and Olympics self-congratulation ... observed with a precision and fury to force you to open your eyes.”—Metro

Verso, 9781781680759, 400pp.

Publication Date: April 9, 2013

About the Author

Owen Hatherley is the author of the acclaimed Militant Modernism, a defense of the modernist movement, and A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain. He writes regularly on the political aesthetics of architecture, urbanism and popular culture for a variety of publications, including Building Design, Frieze, the Guardian and the New Statesman. He blogs on political aesthetics at <a href=""></a>.