From Publishers Weekly
Rybczynski presents a historical survey of the development of American cities.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Architectural and urban historian Rybczynski (The Most Beautiful House in the World, LJ 4/1/89) has something to say about the shape of American cities, how they got that way, and how they inevitably contrast with their counterparts in Europe given the development of this country and our distincitve set of values. In succinct, accessible style, he moves from the flourishing of towns and cities in Europe to Tocqueville's assessment of the New World's urban efforts, to a sharp condemnation of urban planning in the last decades as a violation of America's values of spaciousness, choice, and self-sufficiency. At times the book seems a bit breezy, but Rybczynski can toss of terrific insights, e.g., conditions in the New World "gave American towns an independence of spirit, but also reinforced the general assumption that urban self-sufficiency was was the normal state of affairs"?which was certainly not true in the rest of the world and, he points out, has created some of the problems we have today. A fine book; recommended for most collections.?Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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