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


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

by Deirdre Mask
Hardcover – 19 May 2020

An exuberant work of popular history: why something as seemingly mundane as an address can save lives or serve the powerful.

Starting with a simple question, ‘what do street addresses do?’, Deirdre Mask travels the world and back in time to work out how we describe where we live and what that says about us. From the chronological numbers of Tokyo to the naming of Bobby Sands Street in Iran, she explores how our address – or lack of one – expresses our politics, culture and technology. It affects our health and wealth, and it can even affect the working of our brains.

From Ancient Rome to Kolkata today, from cholera epidemics to tax hungry monarchs, Mask discovers the different ways street names are created, celebrated, and in some cases, banned. Filled with fascinating people and histories, this incisive, entertaining book shows how addresses are about identity, class and race. But most of all they are about power: the power to name, to hide, to decide who counts, who doesn’t, and why.

About the Author
Deirdre Mask graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude, and attended the University of Oxford before returning to Harvard for law school, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. She completed a master’s in writing at the National University of Ireland. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Guardian. Originally from North Carolina, she has taught at Harvard and the London School of Economics.

Product details
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Profile Trade; 1st edition (19 May 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1781259003
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 9781781259009
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 14.4 x 3.5 x 22.2 cm

Additional information

Weight 0.800 g
Dimensions 22 × 14 × 4 cm
Subject Area

Economic Sociology, Organisational Sociology, Social Management, Sociology of Culture, Sociology of Knowledge


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Publication Name

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






Profile Books Ltd



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Number of Pages

336 Pages


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