Over the past twenty years European cities have become the envy of the world: a Kraftwerk Utopia of historic centres, supermodernist concert halls, imaginative public spaces and futuristic egalitarian housing estates which, interconnected by high-speed trains traversing open borders, have a combination of order and pleasure which is exceptionally unusual elsewhere. In Trans-Europe Express, Owen Hatherley sets out to explore the European city across the entire continent, to see what exactly makes it so different to the Anglo-Saxon norm – the unplanned, car-centred, developer-oriented spaces common to the US, Ireland, UK and Australia. Attempting to define the European city, Hatherley finds a continent divided both within the EU and outside it.

Out now in paperback available in store and online.

Owen Hatherley in conversation with Ben Thompson, Thurs, 2nd May at PM Bookshop. Author Owen Hatherley has carved out a niche for himself as one of the UK’s foremost commentators on matters architectural and political; his work exists at the point where these intersect with aesthetics; and his latest chunky tome, a fascinating volume from Repeater Books, tackles all three in a work that is lively, trenchant, informative and never dull!

Hatherley has a particular interest in modernist, brutalist architecture and also the Eastern Bloc countries as they attempt to survive … More

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a place that really existed, but it is long dead. By now, the word “Soviet” should be as meaningless as “Hapsburg”. Yet it endures, as in the wave of “de-communisation” in Ukraine or the strange idea that the capitalist government in Russia is “Communist”. But does the Soviet experience have anything to teach us today, or was it just an enormous cul-de-sac, a nuclear-armed reincarnation of the Russian Empire?

This book tries to find out, through walking the towns and great cities of the USSR, in an itinerary that … More

If we remember them at all, the Sheffield pop group Pulp are remembered for jolly class warfare ditty ‘Common People’, for the celebrity of their interestingly-named frontman, for the latter waving his arse at Michael Jackson at the Brit awards, for being part of a non-movement called ‘Britpop’, and for disappearing almost without trace shortly after.

They made a few good tunes, they did some funny videos, and while they might be National Treasures, they’re nothing … More