Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America (New Atlantis Books)

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9781594037160: Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America (New Atlantis Books)

Contemporary American society, with its emphasis on mobility and economic progress, all too often loses sight of the importance of a sense of place” and community. Appreciating place is essential for building the strong local communities that cultivate civic engagement, public leadership, and many of the other goods that contribute to a flourishing human life.

Do we, in losing our places, lose the crucial basis for healthy and resilient individual identity, and for the cultivation of public virtues? For one can’t be a citizen without being a citizen of some place in particular; one isn’t a citizen of a motel. And if these dangers are real and present ones, are there ways that intelligent public policy can begin to address them constructively, by means of reasonable and democratic innovations that are likely to attract wide public support?

Why Place Matters takes these concerns seriously, and its contributors seek to discover how, given the American people as they are, and American economic and social life as it now exists and not as those things can be imagined to be in some utopian scheme we can find means of fostering a richer and more sustaining way of life. The book is an anthology of essays exploring the contemporary problems of place and placelessness in American society.

The book includes contributions from distinguished scholars and writers such as poet Dana Gioia (former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts), geographer Yi-Fu Tuan, urbanist Witold Rybczynski, architect Philip Bess, essayists Christine Rosen and Ari Schulman, philosopher Roger Scruton, transportation planner Gary Toth, and historians Russell Jacoby and Joseph Amato.

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About the Author:

Wilfred M. McClay is the SunTrust Chair of Humanities at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Ted V. McAllister is the Edward L. Gaylord Chair and Associate Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University.

Review:


"In this important book, insightful thinkers from poets and philosophers to geographers and planners explore one of the most disorienting results of our dazzling technological advances: an increasingly attenuated sense of place. Just decades ago, such a book would have been superfluous; today it is essential in a rapidly globalizing and digitizing world."

BRUCE COLE
Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
Former Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities

"Both liberals and conservatives celebrate, each for their own reasons, the freedoms that modern life gives us, but we all too easily forget that to be liberated from one set of constraints is to become captive to another. Neither nostalgic nor polemical, Why Place Matters illuminates the mind-forg’d manacles” of modern mobility, and in so doing teaches us why learning to love where we live and, so to speak, learning to live where we live is critical to human flourishing."

ROD DREHER
Author of The Little Way of Ruthie Leming

"Cities are the crucibles of modern civilization. This unique and thought-provoking collection of essays will be crucial for helping anyone who cares about cities understand how they do or do not meet human needs in this new century. I will refer to this collection again and again."

ROD GOULD
City Manager, Santa Monica, California

"In our age of increasing rootlessness and digital disembodiment, this splendid book shows us how to think our way back, practically and philosophically, to the solid ground of place the home, the neighborhood, and the city."

STEVEN LAGERFELD
Editor, The Wilson Quarterly

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Book Description Encounter Books,USA, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Contemporary American society, with its emphasis on mobility and economic progress, all too often loses sight of the importance of a sense of place and community. Appreciating place is essential for building the strong local communities that cultivate civic engagement, public leadership, and many of the other goods that contribute to a flourishing human life. Do we, in losing our places, lose the crucial basis for healthy and resilient individual identity, and for the cultivation of public virtues? For one can t be a citizen without being a citizen of some place in particular; one isn t a citizen of a motel. And if these dangers are real and present ones, are there ways that intelligent public policy can begin to address them constructively, by means of reasonable and democratic innovations that are likely to attract wide public support? Why Place Matters takes these concerns seriously, and its contributors seek to discover how, given the American people as they are, and American economic and social life as it now exists--and not as those things can be imagined to be in some utopian scheme--we can find means of fostering a richer and more sustaining way of life. The book is an anthology of essays exploring the contemporary problems of place and placelessness in American society. The book includes contributions from distinguished scholars and writers such as poet Dana Gioia (former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts), geographer Yi-Fu Tuan, urbanist Witold Rybczynski, architect Philip Bess, essayists Christine Rosen and Ari Schulman, philosopher Roger Scruton, transportation planner Gary Toth, and historians Russell Jacoby and Joseph Amato. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781594037160

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