In this sharp, witty polemic, award-winning critic Owen Hatherley questions the many ways we have adopted the gospel of luxurious poverty: from ubiquitous "Keep Calm and Carry On" posters, the commercialization of thrift, the added value of artisanal, and the selling of a "make do and mend" aesthetic, to a nostalgia for a utopian past that never existed. Hatherley proposes a radical demand for true abundance for all, not just adopting the veneer of a better age. The Ministry of Nostalgia is a rallying cry that reaches across a depleted cultural landscape and refuses to accept that we need to lower our expectations and hopes to fit difficult times. Instead, he demands more because that is what we all deserve.
Owen Hatherley was born in Southampton, England in 1981. He received a PhD in 2011 from Birkbeck College, London, for a thesis on Constructivism and Americanism. He writes regularly on architecture and cultural politics for Architects Journal, Architectural Review, Icon, the Guardian the London Review of Books and New Humanist, and is the author of several books: Militant Modernism (Zero, 2009), A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain (Verso, 2010), Uncommon - An Essay on Pulp (Zero, 2011), A New Kind of Bleak - Journeys through Urban Britain (Verso 2012), Across the Plaza (Strelka, 2012) and Landscapes of Communism (Penguin 2015). He also edited and introduced an updated edition of Ian Nairn's Nairn's Towns (Notting Hill Editions, 2013). He lives in Woolwich and Warsaw.