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For centuries the East End has been synonymous with poverty and sweated labour, with Cockney solidarity and popular protest. The poverty is still there but now, once again, East London is beginning to reshape itself. Alan Palmer takes us back through four centuries of life in this great melting pot which was once the very centre of Empire trade. People as well as goods have flowed in and out of it, from the Huguenot weavers of the 17th century to the Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis of today. Its story is one of extremes - of small deprived streets and great Hawksmoor churches, of great social campaigners like George Lansbury and out-and-out criminals like the Krays. This book, with an introduction by London's great chronicler Peter Ackroyd, seeks to capture the spirit of the East End and its people, of those who have left their mark on it and those whose lives were marked by it for ever.


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