When and how were cities born? Does urbanization foster innovation and economic development? What was the level of urbanization in traditional societies? Did the Industrial Revolution facilitate urbanization? Has the growth of cities in the Third World been a handicap or an asset to economic development?
In this revised translation of De Jéricho à Mexico, Paul Bairoch seeks the answers to these questions and provides a comprehensive study of the evolution of the city and its relation to economic life. Bairoch examines the development of cities from the dawn of urbanization (Jericho) to the explosive growth of the contemporary Third World city. In particular, he defines the roles of agriculture and industrialization in the rise of cities.
"A hefty history, from the Neolithic onward. It's ambitious in scope and rich in subject, detailing urbanization and, of course, the links between cities and economies. Scholarly, accessible, and significant."—Newsday
"This book offers a path-breaking synthesis of the vast literature on the history of urbanization."—John C. Brown, Journal of Economic Literature
"One leaves this volume with the feeling of positions intelligently argued and related to the existing state of theory and knowledge. One also has the pleasure of reading a book unusually well-written. It will long both be a standard and stimulate new thought on the central issue of urban and economic growth."—Thomas A. Reiner, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science