City A Global History

ISBN-10: 0679603360
ISBN-13: 9780679603368
Edition: 2005
Authors: Joel Kotkin
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Description: If humankind can be said to have a single greatest creation, it would be those places that represent the most eloquent expression of our species’s ingenuity, beliefs, and ideals: the city. In this authoritative and engagingly written account, the  More...

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Book details

List price: $21.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 4/5/2005
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

If humankind can be said to have a single greatest creation, it would be those places that represent the most eloquent expression of our species’s ingenuity, beliefs, and ideals: the city. In this authoritative and engagingly written account, the acclaimed urbanist and bestselling author examines the evolution of urban life over the millennia and, in doing so, attempts to answer the age-old question: What makes a city great? Despite their infinite variety, all cities essentially serve three purposes: spiritual, political, and economic. Kotkin follows the progression of the city from the early religious centers of Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and China to the imperial centers of the Classical era, through the rise of the Islamic city and the European commercial capitals, ending with today’s post-industrial suburban metropolis. Despite widespread optimistic claims that cities are “back in style,” Kotkin warns that whatever their form, cities can thrive only if they remain sacred, safe, and busy–and this is true for both the increasingly urbanized developing world and the often self-possessed “global cities” of the West and East Asia. Looking at cities in the twenty-first century, Kotkin discusses the effects of developments such as shifting demographics and emerging technologies. He also considers the effects of terrorism–how the religious and cultural struggles of the present pose the greatest challenge to the urban future. Truly global in scope, The City is a timely narrative that will place Kotkin in the company of Lewis Mumford, Jane Jacobs, and other preeminent urban scholars.

A senior fellow with the Davenport Institute for Public Policy at Pepperdine University, a research fellow in urban studies at the Reason Public Policy Institute, and a senior fellow with the Milken Institute. He writes a monthly column in The New York Times and has written four previous books. His work also appears in the Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Forbes and The Washington Post. He lives in North Hollywood, California.

Introduction : places sacred, safe, and busy
Sacred origins
Projections of power - the rise of the imperial city
The first commercial capitals
The Greek achievement
Rome - the first megacity
The eclipse of the classical city
The Islamic archipelago
Cities of the Middle Kingdom
Opportunity lost
Europe's urban renaissance
Cities of mammon
The Anglo-American urban revolution
Industrialism and its discontents
The search for a "better city"
Suburbia triumphant
The postcolonial dilemma
"Queens of the further east"
Conclusion : the urban future

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