Monday, June 11, 2012
Review of: " Johnson's Life of London: The People Who Made the City that Made the World" by Boris Johnson
I must admit at once that London is among my favorite cities in the world - along with Boston, New York, Istanbul, Kiev, Krakow and Florence. Standing on the literary shoulders of Dr. Samuel Johnson, current Lord Mayor, Boris Johnson, has penned a fascinating tour of his city. The cover tells the tale - on the bus that is his narrative, The American-born author has embarked key figures from the most significant epoch's in London'd history.
The Mayor's writing style is wonderful - full of insight, double entendre, wry commentary and civic pride. Over the years, I have taken many walking tours of London, and feel as if I know the city reasonably well for an American who has never lived in the UK. Johnson's anecdotes and historical references deepened my hunger to return to London and explore many of the nooks and crannies that still exist where significant events occurred.
One theme that keeps recurring in the book is the unique relationship that exists between The City of London - the square mile financial center of the world - and Westminster, the seat of government of London and the UK. As he discusses each period of history, Johnson points out the sometimes synergistic and sometimes antagonistic relationships between the two poles.
If you already know London, this book will deepen your love and understanding. If you are a stranger to London, read the book, and you will yearn to be a stranger no more.