36 of 49 people found the following review helpful
A Cool Head On a Hot Topic,
This review is from: Sprawl: A Compact History (Hardcover)
It was probably inevitable that a book about such a hot topic would provoke similarly hot reviews. But I found one of the great virtues of this book is that Bruegmann himself prefers to step away from the name calling and fingerpointing which have characterized so much of the sprawl debate until now. Instead, the reader is given a rare opportunity to check his or her preconceived notions at the door and read a book which does the same.
"Sprawl" rewards the careful reader in proportion to the reader's ability to defuse such loaded terms as "elite" and "traditional city"; indeed, even the word "sprawl" itself. Bruegmann doesn't ask the reader to jettison his preconceptions--only to temper them, based on a careful and thorough study of the subject.
When you've finished this book, you may or may not like sprawl any more than you do now--but you WILL understand that the subject is a lot more complex than you might have thought, and that the current attempts to halt it (or promote it, for that matter) have more far-reaching consequences than you might have supposed.