An exuberant work of popular history: why something as seemingly mundane as an address can save lives or serve the powerful.
Thought-provoking and entertaining… The Address Book is a delight from beginning to end ~ Adrian Tinniswood, Literary Review
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
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
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The Address Book by Deirdre Mask
the address book deirdre maskWhen most people think about street addresses they think of parcel deliveries, or visitors finding their way. But who numbered the first house, and where, and why? What can addresses tell us about who we are and how we live together?
Deirdre Mask looks at the fate of streets named after Martin Luther King, Jr., how ancient Romans found their way, and why Bobby Sands is memorialised in Tehran. She explores why it matters if, like millions of people today, you don’t have an address.
From cholera epidemics to tax hungry monarchs, Mask discovers the different ways street names are created, celebrated, and in some cases, banned. Full of eye-opening facts, fascinating people and hidden history, this 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.