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The pub has been the heart and soul of British life for generations. But how has this unique institution changed over the centuries? Paul Jennings traces the history of the British pub and looks at how it evolved from the coaching inn and humble alehouse, through back-street beer houses and 'fine, flaring' gin palaces to the drinking establishments of the twenty-first century. Covering all aspects of pub life, this fascinating history examines pubs in town and country. It identifies keys trends and discusses architecture and interior design. It looks at customers and their varied activities in pubs and at the men and women who ran them. The story of the pub is set throughout in the wider context of social change. "The Local" is a must-read for the pub-goer and anyone interested in the history of the English people.