The Address Book
Shortlisted for the Katharine Briggs Award 2020
‘Deirdre Mask’s book was just up my Strasse, alley, avenue and boulevard.’ -Simon Garfield, author of Just My Type
‘Fascinating … intelligent but thoroughly accessible … full of surprises’ – Sunday Times
Starting with a simple question, ‘what do street addresses do?’, Deirdre Mask travels the world and back in time to work out how we describe where we live and what that says about us.
From the chronological numbers of Tokyo to the naming of Bobby Sands Street in Iran, she explores how our address – or lack of one – expresses our politics, culture and technology. It affects our health and wealth, and it can even affect the working of our brains.
From Ancient Rome to Kolkata today, from cholera epidemics to tax hungry monarchs, Mask discovers the different ways street names are created, celebrated, and in some cases, banned. Filled with fascinating people and histories, this incisive, entertaining book shows how addresses are about identity, class and race. But most of all they are about power: the power to name, to hide, to decide who counts, who doesn’t, and why.
‘A must read for urbanists and all those interested in cities and modern economic and social life.’ – Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class
Deirdre Mask reveals how the tales secreted within a street name can be as mesmerizing and mystifying as the city itself-and the people who call that place home. -- Janette Sadik-Khan, former NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner * Bloomberg Associates * A must read for urbanists and all those interested in cities and modern economic and social life. -- Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class Lively and eye-opening ... Deirdre Mask unearths the many layers of meaning hiding just below the surface of the ways we place ourselves and others in our communities. -- Jeff Speck, urban planner and author of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time Mask's fluid narration and impressive research uncover the importance of an aspect of daily life that most people take for granted, and she profiles a remarkable array of activists, historians, and artists whose work intersects with the evolution and meaning of street addresses. This evocative history casts its subject in a whole new light. * Publishers Weekly * Deirdre Mask's book was just up my Strasse, alley, avenue and boulevard. A classic history of nomenclature - loaded, complex and absorbing. -- Simon Garfield, author of Just My Type Fascinating ... intelligent but thoroughly accessible ... full of surprises * Sunday Times * Illuminating, impressively researched * iPaper *
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