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The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects (1961)

by Lewis Mumford

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,400813,252 (4.15)29
Examines the development and nature of the city from Egypt to Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome and the Middle Ages to the modern world.

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» See also 29 mentions

English (6)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (8)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
A survey of the roles that urban gatherings have played in Human history. We have enjoyed the city, and of course found great dissatisfaction with it. Mumford's survey gets frequent reprints, and is full of insights. I am sure the 19 year old me was a little out of his depths with these work, but mightily impressed with it. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jan 29, 2021 |
Redundantly dry but informative. ( )
  adaorhell | Aug 24, 2018 |
No doubt considered the classic history of the city. Too subjective and rather dated for my tastes. Dense, bleak. ( )
  RobertP | Oct 31, 2010 |
This book is both dystopian an disturbing. As a history it is more a catalogue of mistakes and processes gone wrong than a simple history. The book is erudite and scholarly but hardly optimistic.

The only kind of urban center that gets the faintest nod of praise is the medieval village and its very few modern successors. The modern city is pictured as a vast growth that through technology is crushing the human spirit. Only Rotterdam escapes complete disdain.

For all the pessimism of the book it contains many important ideas that mankind will be forced to consider. How the computer and the cellphone would have effected his ideas I don't know and I think he is flat wrong in his perception of space exploration and the reasons for it.

Nevertheless the book is well worth reading with many ideas and problems that must be considered by the human race. Take a few hours or days to check it out.
3 vote xenchu | Jan 31, 2010 |
  erikberg | Mar 14, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lewis Mumfordprimary authorall editionscalculated
Andrews, VaughnCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Examines the development and nature of the city from Egypt to Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome and the Middle Ages to the modern world.

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The city in history: its origins, its transformations, and its prospects by Lewis Mumford (1961)
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