Clive Bloom is acclaimed for his own writing, but deserves to be as noted for his editing skills; his invaluable series of titles analysing crime fiction for Palgrave Macmillan is among the most perceptive in the genre. In another field, his new updating of his celebrated book, Violent London (praised by such luminaries as JG Ballard), is something different, examining the roots of radical protest in the UK throughout history right up to the present day.

Early acts of violent protest discussed here include Boudicca and her followers setting fire to the city in AD 60, and Bloom addresses popular insurrections from that date onwards; this is the first literary exploration of London’s ‘secret’ history, from the clandestine world of radicals and subversives such as Wat Tyler up to the Anti-Globalization Movement via the Gordon Riots, the Cato Street Conspirators, the Suffragettes, Mosleyites and the IRA.

Violent London is a trenchant analysis of an alternative London, and a striking alternative political history of the British Isles, with dissent finding combustible form outside parliamentary processes.

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