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Queuing for Beginners

Imprint: Profile Books
Subject: History & Classics

Queuing for Beginners

The Story of Daily Life From Breakfast to Bedtime

Joe Moran

eBook (ePUB/MOBI)?
9781847650658 (6 Aug 2010)

About the book

Why do so many people go on about queuing? Have we always been obsessed with traffic? And why do so many of us now eat lunch at our computers - al desko?

We spend our days catching buses and trains, writing emails, shopping, queuing...But we know almost nothing about these activities. Exploring the history of these subjects as they come up during a typical day, starting with eating breakfast and ending with sleeping, Joe Moran tells a story about hidden social and cultural changes in Britain since the Second World War. Drawing on his academic research on everyday life, but writing with wit and lucidity for a popular audience, he shows that we know less about ourselves than we think...

About the author

Joe Moran is a Reader in Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University. He contributes regularly to the New Statesman, and has also written for the Times Higher Education Supplement. He has written three academic books and his most recent academic article is a history of crossing the road. He also writes poetry and children's poetry. He lives in Liverpool.


An original idea that's well-executed and of interest to anyone who's enjoyed a fry-up, stood by a water-cooler and slept under a duvet. By interrogating the history of everyday objects and routines, Moran reveals the contingent, often extraordinary, nature of daily life in Britain, and the material culture that dominates it in the early 21st century. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

- Richard Weight

A thoroughly novel and refreshing way of looking at our recent history. This is "mundane" as a good thing. It is a daybreak to bedtime story told further from "them", and nearer to "us". Almost every page has its "yes!..I'd forgotten" moment. I loved his book enormously.

- Andrew Marr

Queuing for Beginners is a splendidly entertaining book. Joe Moran take a simple but wonderfully imaginative idea, following an ordinary working day from breakfast to bedtime, and uncovers the twentieth-century history of the mundane rituals through which we structure our lives. Nothing escapes his gaze, from cereal packets to chain pubs, and the result is a deft, clever and endlessly fascinating example of social history at its best.

- Dominic Sandbrook

A wonderfully insightful probe into the habits and rituals that have made up daily life in Britain since the Second World War. Almost nothing escapes Joe Moran's penetrating gaze; an inspired anthropologist of the ordinary, and often very funny, he turns his readers into informed observers, and gives an enhanced understanding of what we do every day without a second thought and why we do it. You'll never eat a slice of toast, join a queue or send an e mail in the same way again.

- Juliet Gardiner

wonderfully entertaining...every page pulses with humour, ephemeral research and irresistible nuggets of useless information...His book is your life, examined by a post-modern academic in fluent and breezy style, social history at its most accessible.

- Val Hennessy, Daily Mail

Additional Information

Imprint: Profile Books
Subject: History & Classics

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