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The Rentier City : Making Modern Manchester

Isaac Rose
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Watkins Media Limited (Repeater Books)
Published: February 27, 2024
ISBN: 9781915672186
250 pages
Country of publication: United Kingdom


How did Manchester became the poster-child of neoliberal urbanisation, and what can the people that live there do about it?

As the crane capital of Europe, Manchester’s transformation since the financial crisis has been profound. Capital has flooded into the city, transforming its skyline and rocketing rents. At the same time, it remains a city of stark inequalities – home to some of the poorest wards in the country. Yet this didn’t come out of nowhere. Rather, its roots lie in the long story of the city’s political journey since the 1980s, and the defeat of municipal socialism and the embrace of urban entrepreneurialism which saw Manchester become the model neoliberal city.

In The Rentier City, tenant organiser Isaac Rose traces the contemporary history of Manchester, examining how and why it became the poster-child for neoliberal development. Exploring the cultural commodification that Manchester pioneered in its pursuit of the “creative class” and the rise of the rentier, Rose lays bare the results of this experiment. Tracking the triumphs and failures of those who have sought to fight back, he shows us what life is like for those who make a home in the shadow of the towers.

Bursting the bubble of the boosters and giving renters a toolkit for reclaiming their homes, communities and cities from Big Capital, The Rentier City punctures the hypocrisies that surround the “Manchester miracle”, showing how everyone can fight back against rising rents, gentrification and the financialisaton of the places they live.

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