From Library Journal
Beginning as a local tragedy, the attack on the World Trade Center towers quickly assumed both national and international import. This collection of essays, edited by social critics Sorkin (editor, The Next Jerusalem) and Zukin (Landscapes of Power), seeks to revisit the tragedy as a local event and consider September 11 in light of New York's urban history. The essays, by the editors and 17 urbanists, examine how the towers came to be built and the neighborhoods that had to be destroyed to make way for this paean to international commerce. They also examine the chilling parallels between this attack and the Wall Street bombing of 1920, as well as the violation of the building codes that took place during construction of the towers. Throughout, there is deep concern for what the towers' construction and demolition and likely plans for reconstruction have to say about democracy in the nation's financial capital. Collectively, all the contributors (e.g., Marshall Berman, Beverly Gage, Edwin G. Burrows) call for a more democratic New York, one where the voices of all the people can be heard, not just the economically and politically powerful. Recommended for academic and larger public library collections in urban studies and New York history. Christopher Brennan, SUNY at Brockport Lib.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Amid the flood of glossy picture books memorializing September 11 comes a rare collection of essays on the fallen World Trade Towers. Written by social critics and urbanists, the essays provide a multidimensional portrait of the towers and New York in the aftermath of September 11. The Lower Manhattan site is presented as a complex, contested landscape rich in historical, social, and political context. Lower Manhattan experienced violence associated with world trade in the early seventeenth century, and terrorist disaster, attributed to the radical left, struck Wall Street in 1920. A theme running through the essays is the need for a more democratic city. Will the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corporation, granted freedom from democratic oversight, recover the site for all of New York, or just for the developers and power brokers? Reconstruction is envisioned not in building another mammoth center but, rather, in a lower-scale Downtown where all can participate. Global and local in outlook, reaching beyond the personal-tragedy, American-values perspective that has dominated the media, this thoughtful volume is not just for New Yorkers. Philip Herbst
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