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Something rich and strange

Manchester: Something rich and strange challenges us to see the quintessential post-industrial city in new ways. Bringing together twenty-three diverse writers and a wide range of photographs of Greater Manchester, it argues that how we see the city can have a powerful effect on its future – an urgent question given how quickly the urban core is being transformed. The book uses sixty different words to speak about the diversity of what we think of as Manchester – whether the chimneys of its old mills, the cobbles mostly hidden under the tarmac, the passages between terraces, or the everyday act of washing clothes in a laundrette. Unashamedly down to earth in its focus, this book makes the case for a renewed imaginative relationship that recognises and champions the fact that we’re all active in the making and unmaking of urban spaces.

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Andrew McMillan

screaming at them to stop. My friend and I said nothing as we walked by, and then, almost when we felt we might have been out of earshot of the drama, we talked briefly about other stabbings that had been in the news. Then the news more generally. Then other things. Then nothing for a while, until we arrived at the bar. A couple of days before all this I’d been coming home from the gym – having taken to waking without an alarm, and being at the gym before 5.30 am. It meant the streets were still quiet when I left the flat, before the city-centre businesspeople were even

in Manchester
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Manchester: seeing like a city
Paul Dobraszczyk and Sarah Butler

’s 2005 song ‘Station Approach’: ‘coming home I feel like I designed these buildings I walk by’. Yet, for many, there’s a sense that something has irrevocably changed. In this new century, the urban core of Greater Manchester has been in the throes of its most significant transformation since the Second World War. With purportedly more cranes in 2019 than any other city in Western Europe gracing the skyline of the city centre and the inner edges of Salford, dozens of high-rise apartment buildings and offices are being constructed at a frenetic pace: the culmination of

in Manchester
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The power of pragmatism
Jane Wills and Robert W. Lake

good immunity. The laws of economic science that allow markets to flourish also produce income inequality, negative environmental externalities and uneven development. These are just a few examples in a long list of unanticipated consequences of science that are coming home to roost in the Anthropocene ( Mitchell, 2002 ; Polanyi, 1920 [2018] , 1944 [2001] ). In both the natural and social sciences, belief in certainty has sometimes produced deadly effects. This book aims to make the case for pragmatism as an approach to social inquiry in which the absence of

in The power of pragmatism