Municipal Dreams: The rise and fall of council housing
By John Boughton (Verso, £18.99)
Reviewed by Peter Watts
(Review from issue 493 of the Journal of the London Society. Buy your copy of the Journal here, or get a free copy when you join the Society)
News that a book has been commissioned on the back of a popular Twitter account is often a cause for eyebrow-raising annoyance peppered with professional jealousy, but that wasn’t the case when Verso announced they’d be publishing the first book by John Boughton, who tweets as @municipaldreams. That’s because Boughton’s tweets – and his superb blog of the same name – are on the history of social housing, about which Boughton has become a sort of house historian. On his blog, Boughton studies in detail a different housing estate with each post, describing its social history and architectural appearance before, in most cases, exploring the various ways it has been neglected by local councils committed to Thatcherism, either by force or ideology.