The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects

Paperback | February 1, 2001

byLewis Mumford

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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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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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Format:PaperbackDimensions:784 pages, 7.96 × 5.34 × 2.02 inPublished:February 1, 2001Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0156180359

ISBN - 13:9780156180351

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Customer Reviews of The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Greatest Book Written on Urban History For those who haven't been forced to read this for a university or collage class, you should still read it in your spare time. I finished it from cover to cover for one of my history courses, though I'm an English major. The wonderful thing about this book is that it's not a text book, but written more like a novel. There is a kind of poetry in its words, making the reading light, smooth, and easy. Also, it's very comprehensive, starting from ancient Egypt and coming up to the modern age. What Mumford does is not only give history, but make it interesting, by putting the city at the center of history. He gives you so much amazing, shocking, and interesting info on just how the modern world is like what it is today (such as how and why sidewalks were invented). Also, there is a deep humanity to it, for Mumford pleads to not live a cold, static life based on technology, but one based on community, warmth, and an organic life: at points his words are so powerful that you must read it to know what I mean. It's the first of its kind: a text on history which can really move the reader. He even quotes authors like Shakespeare, Proust, Dickens, and so many others, not only to make his work interesting, but to give the experiences of these authors during their times or to make a stronger point. Read it, and you WILL NOT be dissapointed.
Date published: 2005-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The city in history This book contains the full history of the city we know now. From the origin of the human organizations, the grandiose of Egypt and the megalopolitan, the author bring us not only in the strucuture of the city but it will help you to understand the evolution of man throught philosophy, sociology and the falling of great civilisations. Writting in a easy understanding way it bring you into the functions and adaptation of a community for survive and expension. This is a different way of seeing the history of your civilisation and to understand why we are struggling in your own time and city. For those within philosophy and history get that one.
Date published: 2000-09-18

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Editorial Reviews

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.