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10 Downing Street

The History and Legacy of the British Prime Minister's Official Residence
Narrated by: Scott Clem
Length: 1 hr and 5 mins
2 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

"I am speaking to you from the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street. This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government an official note stating that unless we heard from them by eleven o'clock, that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and consequently this country is at war with Germany." (Neville Chamberlain)

"Ten Downing Street is a house, not an office. That is its most important characteristic." (Douglas Hurd)

Throughout the world there are centers of power and law that also serve as homes for families - sometimes just one, sometimes several. In the United States, the White House is both a residence and an office, and the same is true of a number of palaces around the world. In London much of the United Kingdom's official business emanates from 10 Downing Street, often referred to simply as Number 10. In fact "Number 10" has become synonymous with the voice of the government of the United Kingdom itself, much the same way America's presidential administration is often referred to as the White House.

As much as it is a center of power, 10 Downing Street is also a study in contradictions. Though known today as the home of the prime minister, for most of its history it has housed other high-ranking government offices. Seen as a symbol of stability, it has often been physically the opposite; originally built in a swamp on a sandy foundation, it was shorn up again and again for decades. In fact its location and condition were often considered so bad that prior to 1900, only about half of the men offered the home chose to live there.

©2017 Charles River Editors (P)2017 Charles River Editors

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Why?

I'm wondering why the publisher bothered to produce this piece if they weren't actually into it themselves. It's just 65 minutes long. Instead of using a good narrator, they used a person whose narration sounded more mechanical than human. This could have been interesting content.