"A fascinating portrait of one of Britain's livliest communities. Annie Skinner has managed to capture with wit and elegance Cowley Road's social diversity, its varied history and sometimes seedy underbelly - an essential read for anyone with roots in the area."—Mark Lynas

Cowley Road

A History

Annie Skinner

Once a “respectable” white working-class suburb, Cowley Road is today the heartland of alternative Oxford. Famous for its restaurants and specialist shops, the street has also developed an enviable reputation for its music and nightlife. Half a century of immigration and student growth has transformed Cowley Road into a lively thoroughfare synonymous with youth and multicultural expression.Annie Skinner traces the development of Cowley Road, looking at the impact of changing population and tastes on an urban environment. She considers how the street survived potentially devastating planning blight, witnessed political ferment in the 1970s and 1980s, and finally became a fashionably bohemian part of Oxford. Based on interviews and local archives, she reveals a largely untold history of a street that is both typical of modern Britain and unique in its political and cultural dynamism. CULTURAL MELTING-POT: Churches and mosques; restaurants and retailing; a multi-ethnic community. POLITICS AND PROTEST: Revolutionaries and hippies; a tradition of radicalism; feminism and gay rights; the fight against racism; reds and greens. THE STREET THAT NEVER SLEEPS: Radiohead, Supergrass and the Zodiac; shock rock and frock rock; the Cowley Road Carnival.

Annie Skinner has lived in the Cowley Road area for most of her life. She has a PhD from Oxford Brookes University and is a historian.

£5.99 paperback

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June 2005, 164 pages, 203x133mm, illustrations, index back
ISBN: 190495510X