The City in History: It's Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects

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9780436296000: The City in History: It's Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects

The city’s development from ancient times to the modern age. Winner of the National Book Award. “One of the major works of scholarship of the twentieth century” (Christian Science Monitor). Index; illustrations.

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Review:

Lewis Mumford's massive historical study brings together a wide array of evidence--from the earliest group habitats to medieval towns to the modern centers of commerce (as well as dozens of black-and-white illustrations)--to show how the urban form has changed throughout human civilization. His tone is ultimately somewhat pessimistic: Mumford was deeply concerned with what he viewed as the dehumanizing aspects of the metropolitan trend, which he deemed "a world of professional illusionists and their credulous victims." (In another typically unrestrained criticism, he dubbed the Pentagon a Bronze Age monument to humanity's basest impulses, as well as an "effete and worthless baroque conceit.") Mumford hoped for a rediscovery of urban principles that emphasized humanity's organic relationship to its environment. The City in History remains a powerfully influential work, one that has shaped the agendas of urban planners, sociologists, and social critics since its publication in the 1960s.

About the Author:

Lewis Mumford (1895-1979) was the author of numerous important books on American culture, technology, architecture, and urban life, including Technics and Civilization (1934); The Culture of Cities (1938); The City in History (1961); Myth of the Machine I: Technics and Human Development (1967); and Myth of the Machine II: Pentagon of Power (1970).

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Mumford, Lewis
Published by Harcourt, Brace and World (1961)
ISBN 10: 0436296004 ISBN 13: 9780436296000
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Lewis Mumford
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ISBN 10: 0436296004 ISBN 13: 9780436296000
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