The definitive
Liverpool Listings Guide

      THE HURRICANE PORT


      A Social History Of Liverpool, Andrew Lees


      Scousers believe they live in a special place, one that has more in common with Salvador da Bahia, New Orleans or Gdansk than anywhere in England, and the city has always punched above its weight. In less than a hundred years,  however, Liverpool’s image has declined from a major mercantile player known as the Second City of the Empire to what some social commentators have described as a cultural backwater remembered largely as the place where the Beatles were born.

      In The Hurricane Port, Andrew Lees reveals how Liverpool’s pre-eminence in the slave trade left an indelible scar on the psychogeography of the city. He also explores the roots of Liverpool’s contrary nature, its rebelliousness and its hedonism, as well as some of the recent hurricanes that have battered the city, including the anger of Toxteth, Militants’ stand against Margaret Thatcher and the murder of James Bulger. In this distinctly personal account, Lees defines the characteristics of this Celtic enclave, with her loud-mouthed, big-hearted people who have created a city quite different from anywhere else in the world.

      WHAT WAS THE IMPETUS BEHIND WRITING THE BOOK?
      A combination of my own deep seated sentimentality for the city of my childhood and what I perceived as the real need for a non academic book that would describe the rise and fall of a great seaport. As I wrote it I began to realise how  Liverpool had been shaped by Europe’s hunger for sugar and how as it grew and grew through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it played such an important role in the formation of the Atlantic community. I also realised that enslavement was a cross to bear, not only for the blacks taken from their homes in West Africa to Barbados and Virginia on which Liverpool’s first fortunes were predicated, but for the dockers and the sailors whose lives underpin much of the city’s  exceptionalism. Liverpool has turned inwards in the last twenty five years but its people still dream of fantastic adventures and mythical departures.

      THE BOOK HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS ‘A WARTS AND ALL’ DEPICTION OF LIVERPOOL. WAS IT A DIFFICULT TASK TO APPROACH THE ‘LESS POSITIVE’ ISSUES ON A SUBJECT MATTER MANY WILL BE PROTECTIVE OVER...THEIR CITY?

      Although a sintelliner (born in St Helens) Liverpool has always been my city (both my parents are from Manchester). I was aware when writing the book of the particular Scouse sensitivity, especially to outsiders, but really did not want to write a book that perpetuated an unrealistic view of the city. My book can be looked on as a love letter to the city but one written to a wife of twenty five years, where love remains as strong as it ever was but flattery and deceit would now be pointless and even destructive. I hope ‘Hurricane Port’ will help the city I love come to terms with its dark history and move forwards again to become a world beater in everything it embarks upon. Liverpool is still full of brilliant, imaginative and amusing people.

      WHAT DO YOU HOPE READERS TAKE FROM THE BOOK?

      There are so few readable accounts of the city’s fascinating history and I would like to think ‘Hurricane Port’, while being a personal view from an outsider, would be a thought provoking and informative source of information for both Scousers and visitors who want to learn more about Liverpool.

      All proceeds from the sale of ‘Hurricane Port’ go to Cure Parkinsons. ||


        •