Monthly Archives: December 2019

Alpha city

Released by Verso in June 2020, Alpha City will offer a panoptic of London, focusing on how the city works for its richest residents and what their wealth means for the city more broadly. A competing subtitle was ‘How London works for the super-rich’ but this was dropped in favour of ‘How London was captured by the super-rich’. I have been writing segments, chapters, notes and observations for some years now, the book brings this together in a coherent analysis. The chapters are as follows:


1: Capital City

2: The Archipelago of Power

3: Accommodating Wealth

4: Crime, Capital

5: Cars, Jets and Personal Cruise Liners

6: My Own Private Stronghold

7: Life Below

8: Too Much

Afterword. A Capital City

The 2019 general election result is likely only to re-emphasise the role of private capital in the city, disparities in wealth and opportunity and the role of the urban context as a strategic operating system through which elites maintain their position. Come crisis or complacency London’s role as a core attractor of the global rich appears assured.

I will be posting a series of short pieces in the run-up to the release of the book, culled from roughly another book’s worth of notes and cuts that didn’t make the final edit.