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Beneath the Metropolis: The Secret Lives of Cities Paperback – October 12, 2007
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More About the Author
I'm still a journalist, still a writer, though I don't work for a daily newspaper anymore. I still am trying to figure out how the world works, and tell about it. I have a perhaps a naive belief that if people understand how the world works, they will seek to use that information to make it better.
Some basic bio information about me. I'm the author of three books, the latest being The Surprising Design of Market Economies, which is my opus of sorts. I'm a native of Norfolk, Virginia, being born there on May 7, 1959. I live in Brooklyn now. Before addressing economies, I wrote a lot about urban planning, which explains why I'm a Senior Fellow at the Regional Plan Association, an esteemed urban planning group in New York City. I still write a lot about urban planning.
Top Customer Reviews
--Christopher D. Ringwald, author of A Day Apart: How Jews, Christians, and Muslims Find Faith, Freedom, and Joy on the Sabbath (Oxford, 2007)
The book tried to give technical and historical information on a dozen cites, but it only had about 20 pages per city to cover all of this. That just wasn't enough to do justice to either topic. Also, there were a lot of pictures, graphics, etc, which reduced the actual discussion still further.
The graphics were maddening. They gave just enough info to whet your appetite, but they never went beyond the superficial. For instance, each city had a vertical graphic showing typical things beneath that city, but they were not detailed enough for me.
I guess I would have preferred for the author to focus on just a couple of cities, and go into more detail about what lies beneath the. If you're looking for a "gee whiz" intro to the topic, this might be OK, but otherwise it was disappointing.
While not exactly a scholarly work, Marshall has done an excellent job researching - to the tune of 24 pages of references! The book goes through the undergrounds of a dozen or so cities around the world, describing what we could find underground and giving a little history lesson at the same time.
Highly recommended for anyone interested in urban areas and development over time.