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London's Olympic Legacy: The Inside Track

02 Aug 2016

'London’s Olympic Legacy: The Inside Track’ – a new book from Dr Gillian Evans, of The University of Manchester, provides a unique perspective on the behind-the-scenes planning of London's Olympic legacy told in a compelling and accessible style.

 London's Olympic Legacy: The Inside Track

Dr Evans, a lecturer in social anthropology, gives unprecedented access to the legacy organisations, institutions, and individuals involved with the 2012 Games. She gained unrivalled insight into the unfolding drama as attempts were made in London to harness the juggernaut of Olympic development, and its commercial imperative, to the broader cause of meaningful post-industrial regeneration in East London.

Evans argues that London will become the test-case city against which the legacies of all future Olympic Games, and other sporting mega-events, will be judged. London’s Olympic Legacy provides the first in-depth case study of a mega-event legacy planning operation, and details the lessons to be learnt from London's experience.

Exploring the relationship between mega event planning, and post-industrial urban regeneration, this book will appeal to the general reader, as well as to scholars across Sociology, Sport and Olympic studies, Anthropology, Urban Studies and Geography, and also policymakers and practitioners in urban and sport planning.

Topics included within London’s Olympic Legacy:

  • From London to Rio with Love: lessons on Olympic legacy
  • A Gold Medal for Boris Johnson: champion of the piggy back politics of populism 
  • Unsung Heroes: the drama behind the scenes of London's Olympic legacy 
  • Brexit Britain: why we are all post-industrial now 
  • West Ham kicks off: how the Olympic Stadium became the political football of London's 2012 legacy 

Notes for editors

‘London’s Olympic Legacy: The Inside Track’ is published on 4th August by Palgrave Macmillan.

Gillian Evans is Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester, UK. Her research focuses on processes of change in the post-industrial cities of Britain. Her previous book, Educational Failure and Working Class White Children in Britain, explores the question of what it means to be working class in 21st century Britain. The book generated national debate about the position of the white working classes in Britain, and Gillian went on to publish further work about the relationship between social class, race, ethnicity and multiculturalism in Britain. Evans’ most recent research is a study of the planning and delivery of the Olympic Legacy in the post-industrial East End of London. Her new book - London's Olympic Legacy: the inside track - argues that against all the odds, London has produced a legacy that makes it the positive test-case city against which all other host Olympic cities will be judged. Visit

Praise for London’s Olympic Legacy: the inside track:

‘No other author has achieved this degree of access to the institutions responsible for planning and delivering the Games and its legacies. The text provides a timely “corrective” to reports, including official reports, that suggest London 2012 provides a ‘model’ of governance for future applicant and host cities of mega-events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games.' 

Gavin Poynter, University of East London, UK 

‘Narrated as a drama and hugely readable, her splendid book shows why anthropology matters, and not just to anthropologists.’ 

Thomas Hylland Eriksen, University of Oslo, Norway

‘This book is deceptively analytical and wonderfully written. With the use of mega-projects to regenerate neighbourhoods continuing to be favoured by governments around the world, this book is sure to be of interest to all those working in the urban studies field.’ 
Kevin Ward, Director of the Cities University of Manchester, UK 

Praise for Educational Failure and Working Class White Children in Britain: 

'A compelling, often uncomfortable journey of self-discovery, as well as a fascinating insight into class and education in Britain. Educational Failure stands out for its honesty, its bravery and its originality'
Patrick Butler, Editor, Society Guardian 

'A brilliant and highly entertaining study of a neglected subject' 
Andrew Gimson, Daily Telegraph 

'I was educated by this' 
Dame Marilyn Strathern, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge 

The University of Manchester, a member of the prestigious Russell Group, is the UK’s largest single-site university with 38,600 students. It has 20 academic schools and hundreds of specialist research groups undertaking pioneering, multi-disciplinary teaching and research of worldwide significance. The University is one of the country’s major research institutions, rated fifth in the UK in terms of ‘research power’ (REF 2014), and has had no fewer than 25 Nobel laureates either work or study there. The University had an annual income of £1 billion in 2014/15. Visit

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