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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Walk Man, October 9, 2009
By 
John Young (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Twenty Minutes in Manhattan (Hardcover)
Michael Sorkin has written the best book on architecture and cities I have read in thirty years.

The groaning tables of books on architecture and its vulgar opposite, real estate, have been near collapse from useless piles of theories, career promotions, trashing old houses, freezing relics, flipping toxic properties, making tidy fortunes by deceiving yearning home buyers, and most of all boosting the pathetic dreams of new urbanists out to out-do Disneyesque fantasists.

Sorkin shows that cities are far better than they have been made out to be by defilers of the landscape who want to ruin them in order to sell new, improved cleansing soapsuds.

By walking daily from his home to studio along a small chunk of lower Manhattan, historicized Greenwich Village to tonified Tribeca, Sorkin has gestated thousands of eye-widening insights about what works in cities and what doesn't.

He gives little credit to aggressive professional planners in thrall to rich developers, instead he bestows awards on street entrepreneurs and neighborhood believers. He wonderfully and informatively describes details of large failures and small successes in New York City, the United States, Europe, Asia and elsewhere he has traveled to lecture and study -- many sure to start as headshaking before erupting as in belly-laughs.

Incivil discourse -- urban warfare -- gets special attention, the worst and the best, the enduring homicidal threat of infernal vehicles against pedestrians fighting for their lives. The cellphone yakkers, the widebody baby strollers, the second-hand smokers, the Formula 1 jerks in from Jersey, the national security bollards, the the homeland security aggressors, the corporate haters of trees, the venal, cruel, landlords at home and work, the fancy architects without scruple, what else have you always wanted somebody to challenge, ridicule and perfectly plan for extinction.

Sorkin handily provides tips for winning exclusive use of an elevator, what to enjoy in cities no tour guide knows, who to be forever angry at for damaging our habitats, what each of us can do to contribute to -- demand of our elected representatives, designers and educators -- places to live and thrive under our own guidance, free of orchestrated interference by exploiters of cities and their covert lobbyists and financiers.

Get this heart-warming, mind-stretching book, take a hike with Sorkin, dodge insane traffic, dump garbage in front of your landlord's office, pray for rent control to spread around the world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you love New York, great book to read., February 27, 2014
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This review is from: Twenty Minutes in Manhattan (Hardcover)
I ordered this as a gift for my husband and he loved it. We visit New York several times a year and he loves to walk the different neighborhoods. He really enjoyed the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Twenty Minutes in Manhattan, March 18, 2012
By 
Ronald Rogers (Melbourne Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Twenty Minutes in Manhattan (Hardcover)
I'm an Australian who loves New York. This book took me through a series of architectural journeys not only around the precinct in which the author lives and works but with excursions into many other areas around the world. This provided a broad context as well as the detail. I also loved that he knew and admired Jane Jacobs.

Having excellent maps of New York and having walked much of this precinct, I was able to follow him in great detail. All in all, a very enjoyable book for one of my predelictions about both architecture and New York.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twenty Minutes in Manhattan, February 1, 2010
By 
C. Walker (Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Twenty Minutes in Manhattan (Hardcover)
Twenty Minutes in Manhattan is a must for anyone interested in the architecture and social fabric of life in New York. My son and I found it fascinating and although a bit dry n places - well worth the time. Can be read in small chunks as time allows.Twenty Minutes in Manhattan
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Twenty Minutes in Manhattan
Twenty Minutes in Manhattan by Michael Sorkin (Hardcover - June 30, 2009)
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