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The Address Book Reviews

The Address Book by Deirdre Mask

The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal about Identity, Race, Wealth and Power

Deirdre Mask

Score pending

1 review

Category: History, Non-fiction
Imprint: Profile Books Ltd
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Publication date: 2 Apr 2020
ISBN: 9781781259009

'Deirdre Mask's book was just up my Strasse, alley, avenue and boulevard. A classic history of nomenclature - loaded, complex and absorbing.' -Simon Garfield, author of Just My Type

4 stars out of 5
22 Mar 2020

"This fascinating book explores both the rich history of addresses and their surprising and vital role in society"

The Address Book is full of these sorts of insights — about the racial tensions caused by the renaming of roads in South Africa, for example, or the ridiculous prices paid for “vanity addresses” in New York, many of them nowhere near the actual building. The first city to come up with the idea of odd and even sides of the street? Philadelphia in the 1790s. The least popular number between one and 14 in the UK? No 13, of course — 34% of streets (and 74% in Birmingham, for some reason) skip it. Mask can sometimes be a bit too chatty, and she can often wander off topic, but her book is full of surprises — not the least of which is the drama and curiosity she brings to this most apparently mundane of subjects.