Book announcement, Liverpool UP

Merseypride: Essays in Liverpool Exceptionalism
by John Belchem

Once the second city of empire, now descended by seemingly irreversible economic and demographic decline into European Union Objective One status, Liverpool defies historical categorisation. Located at the intersection of competing cultural, economic and geo-political formations, it stands outside the main narrative frameworks of modern British history. What was it that established Liverpool as different or apart? The essays in this book show how a sense of apartness has always been crucial to Liverpool’s identity. While repudiated by some as an external imposition, an unmerited stigma originating from the days of the slave trade or the Irish famine, Liverpool's ‘otherness' has been upheld (and inflated) in self-referential myth, a ‘Merseypride’ that has shown considerable ingenuity in adjusting to the city’s changing fortunes.

Among the topics considered are Liverpool’s problematic projection of itself through history and heritage; the belated emergence of ‘scouse’ as cultural badge and signifier; the origins and dominance of Toryism in popular political culture, at odds with present-day perceptions of Merseyside militancy; and an investigation of the crucial sites -- the Irish pub and the Catholic parish -- where the Liverpool-Irish identity was constructed, contested and continued, seemingly immune to the normal processes of ethnic fade. The final section of the book offers comparative methodological and theoretical perspectives that embrace North America, Australia and other European ‘second cities’.


      PART ONE


  1. Liverpool’s story is the world’s glory
  2. ‘An accent exceedingly rare’: Scouse and the inflexion of class


  3. Ribbonism, nationalism and the Irish pub
  4. Charity, ethnicity and the Catholic parish
  5. Micks on the make on the Mersey


  6. Protectionism, paternalism and Protestantism: popular Toryism in early Victorian Liverpool


  7. Ethnicity, migration and labour history
  8. ‘Grandes villes’: Liverpool, Lyon and Munich

236pp. plus 8pp. b/w plates and 6 tables
£27.95/US$46.95 h/b, £11.95/US$19.95 p/b
ISBN 0-85323-715-8 h/b, 0-85323-725-5 p/b
Liverpool University Press, December 2000

Direct orders, except USA/Canada: Marston Book Services,
Direct orders USA/Canada: International Specialized Book Services,

Posted: 7 December 2000