Manchester has a local history that is unlike anywhere else's. Although, as its name suggest, there is evidence beneath its streets of the first mud and timber fort built by the Romans some two thousand years ago - and of continuous occupation ever since - the city's worldwide fame and reputation derives from its extraordinary development over the past two and a half centuries.
Manchester was the shock city of the early 19th century, right at the cutting edge of dramatic changes in our domestic society - technological, social, economic and political. The radical new relationships forged there between employer and employee greatly influenced the development of Marxism, with all its consequences for the 20th century. In transport terms alone, the city led the way with the first real canal, the first real railway, the first public bus services and the first municipal airport. Its local government set a pace for enterprise that the rest of the country could only follow.
The social and economic problems that arose here became matters of national concern, while the political issues that stirred the city led to national reform. Disraeli coined the term `the Manchester School' to describe the middle-class radicals who were the prime movers of the Anti-Corn Law League. The Manchester Guardian held the attention of the nation's decision-makes for many decades before it became a national newspaper, and when the population took to the streets they shook the government to its core, arousing fears of revolution. Stuart Hylton's entertaining account of the great city's entire story was first published in 2003 and received widespread acclaim. It has been expanded and updated for this new edition, which includes over 100 carefully chosen and well captioned illustrations. It should be the initial point of departure for anyone wishing to know more about Manchester's illustrious past and the city's prominent place in the nation's fortunes.
STUART HYLTON studied social sciences at Manchester University before acquiring a postgraduate qualification in town planning. He worked as a planner in the city for several years, developing a strong interest in Manchester and its rich history. One of his first tasks was to produce a history of municipal housing for the council. He has now written ten books on local or national topics and has made many television and radio appearances. He currently works as Head of Strategic Planning and Transport for the Berkshire local authorities.