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Reviews   Photographs
Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First Century City
by Anna Minton
Published by Penguin Books, paperback original, 26th June 2012, £9.99

Brought up-to-date with new material, including a chapter on the true Olympic legacy, Ground Control is a revelatory and passionate defence against the privatisation of our streets and the disturbing reality of Britain today.

Britain’s streets have been transformed by the construction of new property – but it’s owned by private corporations, designed for profit and watched over by CCTV.  Have these gleaming business districts, mega malls, gated developments – even the Olympic Park – led to ‘regeneration’, or have they intensified social divisions and made us more fearful of each other?

Anna Minton’s acclaimed polemic, now updated to cover the UK property collapse and London’s controversial Olympic Park, shows us the face of Britain today.  It reveals the untested – and unwanted – urban planning that is changing not only our cities, but the nature of public space, of citizenship and of trust.


“Anna Minton has done us a service with this book…compelling”
Hugh Pearman, Sunday Times

“Anna Minton has put her finger on one of the most profound and disturbing shifts in modern British cities”
Evening Standard
“timely and powerful study…revelatory”
Rafael Behr, Observer

Anna Minton is the recipient of five national journalist awards.  She was former staff writer for the Financial Times and writes regularly for the Guardian.  Anna is the author of The Joseph Rowntree Foundation Viewpoint on fear and distrust and is a member of the writers’ panel for The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.

Press contact: Mari Yamazaki, 020 7010 3419 / mari.yamazaki@uk.penguingroup.com