Released on 28 January 2016.

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This is London

Life and Death in the World City

4.06 based on 576 ratings & 75 reviews on Goodreads.com

2016 Long-listed

Baillie Gifford Prize

Synopsis

Longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize 2016, formerly known as the Samuel Johnson Prize.

This is the new London: an immigrant city. Over one-third of Londoners were born abroad, with half arriving since the millennium. This has utterly transformed the capital, for better and for worse.

Ben Judah is an acclaimed foreign correspondent, but here he turns his reporter's gaze on home, immersing himself in the hidden world of London's immigrants to reveal the city in the eyes of its beggars, bankers, coppers, gangsters, carers and witch-doctors. From the backrooms of its mosques, Tube tunnels and nightclubs to the frontlines of its streets, Judah has supped with oligarchs and spent nights sleeping rough, worked on building sites and talked business with prostitutes; he's heard stories of heartbreaking failure, but also witnessed extraordinary acts of compassion.

This is London explodes fossilized myths and offers a fresh, exciting portrait of what it's like to live, work, fall in love, raise children, grow old and die in London now. Simultaneously intimate and epic, here is a compulsive and deeply sympathetic book on this dizzying world city from one of our brightest new writers.

In the media

Judah is brilliant at winning the confidence of London's immigrant poor and encouraging them to talk . . . In terms of getting under the skin of a small part of England, Judah has written the most impressive book since Nick Davies' Dark Heart . . . Work like this is vital in reminding the middle classes that poverty - the filthy and beggarly poverty of soul-destroying drudgery and an empty stomach - is more than a set of figures in the negative column of the UK PLC balance sheet. It is an ineradicable feature of the economic system on which much of the middle classes' own prosperity depends
Little Atoms
Mesmerising, trenchant and deeply compassionate
Bookseller
Judah has succeeded in opening reader's eyes to the hardships experienced by many and ignored by most
Independent