Lewis Mumford: A Life

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9781555842444: Lewis Mumford: A Life

A New York Times Notable Book, this widely acclaimed biography of the man who was perhaps the world's foremost authority on cities, architecture, & technology was written with unprecedented access to Lewis Mumford's personal papers. Miller neatly weaves together Mumford's public career & his private life, showing how utterly dependent each is upon the other. He clarifies in a way no one has both Mumford's genius & his immense importance to all of us in understanding our extraordinary times & civilization. Miller received Mumford's generous cooperation in writing this biography & the unfailing assistance of his wife Sophia.

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From Publishers Weekly:

One of the world's foremost experts on cities, architecture and the impact of technology on civilization, Mumford is also a prophet (a Jonah, as he thinks of himself) who took early stands against McCarthyism and the Vietnam War, who has thundered against social and political abuses and has constantly warned of the dangers of rampant urban expansion. Yet, for all this outspokenness and his 30-odd books--which include Technics and Civilization , his masterwork The City in History and an autobiography--he has remained an elusive figure. In this solid first biography--a 10-year labor based on the massive Mumford archive, both public and hitherto private--Miller ( The New American Radicalism) provides a rich and balanced portrait of the man, his personality, family life, friendships, achievements and, above all, the ideas that have been his primary building blocks. The volume makes it easy to understand why Malcolm Cowley called Mumford "the last of the great humanists."
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

This extensive biography, written with access to Mumford's private and personal papers, discusses his books and thoughts on cities, city and regional planning, culture, civilization, and humanism. But the key focus is on the intimate details of his personal development, particularly his struggles with his rigid, highly disciplined personality, and his sexual life, especially the affairs that brought him emotional release and fed his creative energies but threatened his marriage. While Miller is revealing, sympathetic, and reasonable on these latter aspects of Mumford's life, he treats Mumford's ideas in rather simple fashion, largely omitting current thinking on key issues and only rarely and briefly quoting directly from his works. (When Mumford is quoted, he lights up the page.) Extensive and useful, but less penetrating than one might hope.
- Richard Kuczkowski, Dominican Coll., Blauvelt, N.Y.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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