Made in Manchester by Brian Groom

A rich and vivid history of Britain’s second city through the people who have made it…

Made in Manchester is the tale of England’s second city; a metropolis that exported industry and commerce to all others and whose culture is celebrated globally. Like Brian Groom’s bestselling Northerners, this definitive history expertly combines pacey narrative with vividly drawn portraits.

Manchester was the ‘shock city’ of the Industrial Revolution. Visitors arrived from foreign lands, who saw in it a foretaste of the world’s future. But no one knew whether the upheaval would lead to prosperity or starvation. ‘From this filthy sewer pure gold flows,’ wrote French social commentator Alexis de Tocqueville.

It was a hotbed of politics too. The Peterloo Massacre of 1819 is immortalised in British folklore. The city was a centre for radical movements such as Chartism, yet also spawned the employer-led Anti-Corn Law League, which made free trade Britain’s economic orthodoxy. It became the centre of the global cotton industry and a pioneer in engineering. But Made in Manchester will also tell the untold story of the pre-industrial age: Manchester’s Roman fort was manned by soldiers from across the empire, prefiguring the cosmopolitanism of the present day.

We meet the scientists who produced the world’s first stored-program computer; industrialists who laid the foundation of modern mass production; campaigners like Emmeline Pankhurst; writers Elizabeth Gaskell and Anthony Burgess; composers like Peter Maxwell Davies; and artists such as L.S. Lowry. Manchester’s music scene produced iconic bands including Joy Division and Oasis.

23 May 2024 | HB | 9780008608521| £20

If you’re an independent bookseller in the UK or Ireland and you’d like an advance reading copy of Made in Manchester please send your request, along with your name and bookshop address, to the IndieThinking team on

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