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The extraordinary 1950s London childhood of one of Britain's best-loved politicians.
Alan Johnson's childhood was not so much difficult as unusual, particularly for a man who was destined to become Home Secretary. Not in respect of the poverty, which was shared with many of those living in the slums of post-war Britain, but in its transition from two-parent family to single mother and then to no parents at all.
This is essentially the story of two incredible women: Alan's mother, Lily, who battled against poor health, poverty, domestic violence and loneliness to try to ensure a better life for her children; and his sister, Linda, who had to assume an enormous amount of responsibility at a very young age and who fought to keep the family together and out of care when she herself was still only a child.
Played out against the background of a vanishing community living in condemned housing, the story moves from post-war austerity in pre-gentrified Notting Hill, through the race riots, school on the Kings Road, Chelsea in the Swinging 60s, to the rock-and-roll years, making a record in Denmark Street and becoming a husband and father whilst still in his teens.
"This Boy" is one man's story, but it is also a story of England and the West London slums which are so hard to imagine in the capital today. No matter how harsh the details, Alan Johnson writes with a spirit of generous acceptance, of humour and openness which makes his book anything but a grim catalogue of miseries.
Title: This Boy
Publisher: Corgi: 2014-02-27
ISBN Number: 0552167010
ISBN Number 13: 9780552167017
Book Condition: Used: Good
Size: 19 to 25 cm tall, Octavo, (8vo)
Item: 8.00 Item
Seller ID: 154993
Description: Illustrated. 296 pages. Robust packaging. 1st class post to the UK, Airmail worldwide