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The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Conditionby James Howard Kunstler
Synopses & Reviews
An in-depth investigation of the developments of urban environments and how we are affected by it The City in Mind is a far-reaching discourse on the history and current state of urban life. Kunstler reflects on various and diverse cities across the world and investigates the nature and character of their city lives. From London to Mexico City, he takes an in-depth look at each city's history, development and state of architectural and societal success. Other cities explored include Rome, Berlin and Paris. In his investigations, he discovers a disparate Europe with its mix of pre-industrial creativity, war-marked reminders of the twentieth century, and the architectural aftermath of World War II, modernism, and for some, the Cold War. In his discussions on Western culture, Kunstler expands the notions of urbanism first discussed by Jane Jacobs. His examination of cities is at once a concise history of their urban lives and a detailed criticism of how those histories have either aided or hindered the social and civil progress of the cities' occupants.
"An absolutely brilliant collection of essays on cities and why they do and don't work through time and around the globe." Kevin Baker, author of Paradise Alley
The highly opinionated author of "The Geography of Nowhere" now turns his attention to eight cities here and abroad, issuing an engaging report on their state at the turn of the new century. 15 illustrations.
In the highly acclaimed The Geography of Nowhere, James Howard Kunstler declared suburbia "a tragic landscape" and fueled a fierce debate over how we will live in twenty-first-century America. Here, Kunstler turns his discerning eye to urban life in America and beyond in dazzling excursions to classical Rome, the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, Louis-Napoleon's Paris, the "gigantic hairball" that is contemporary Atlanta, the ludicrous spectacle of Las Vegas, and more. Seeking to discover what is constant and enduring in cities at their greatest, Kunstler explores how America got lost in suburban wilderness and locates pathways that might lead to civic revival. His authoritative tour is both a concise history of cities and a stunning critique of how they can aid or hinder social and civil progress. By turns dramatic and comic, The City in Mind is an exceptional glimpse into the urban condition.
About the Author
James Howard Kunstler is the author of two previous nonfiction books, The Geography of Nowhere and Home from Nowhere, and eight novels. His articles appear regularly in The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Slate, and Metropolis.
Table of Contents
PARIS The Achievements of Napoleon III and Georges Eugène Haussman
ATLANTA Does Edge City Have a Future?
MEXICO CITY The End of the World and Other Cataclysms
BERLIN The Paradoxes of History
LAS VEGAS Utopia of Clowns
ROME In Search of the Classical
BOSTON Overcoming History and Modernism
LONDON Landscape as the Cure for Cities
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