- Series: Princeton Paperbacks
- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press; 2nd ed. edition (September 16, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0691070636
- ISBN-13: 978-0691070636
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #688,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo. 2nd ed. Edition
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"This is brilliant stuff, both in its broadness of sociological scope and its voluminous collection of data from a vast number of sources in the three cities."--Scott Lash, The Times Higher Education Supplement
"A very significant book indeed. . . . A systematic detailed analysis of the three largest urban economies in the advanced world."--Peter Hall, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
"[A] high-powered and at times horrific book. Sassen shows how dangerously city life has been affected by the influx of employees of the multinational firms which move into major cities and virtually colonize them, riving even greater wedges between the rich and poor."--The Observer
"A landmark study in the political economy of cities."--Anthony King, Newsline
"The most detailed and sophisticated anatomy yet published of the functioning of the new producer services sector in the global economy."--Mark Levine, Urban Affairs Quarterly
"The implications of Sassen's research . . . are sobering."--Rudolf Klein, Times Literary Supplement
"An exciting and persuasive work. It incorporates a herculean research effort."--Susan Fainstein, Journal of the American Planning Association
"A multi-disciplinary tour de force that should be read not only by regional economists but also by urban geographers, sociologists, and planners."--Development and Change
About the Author
Saskia Sassen is Professor of Sociology and of the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. Her other books include Guests and Aliens, The Mobility of Labor and Capital, Losing Control, and Globalization and Its Discontents.
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Top Customer Reviews
In all I think that this book is a must read for anyone even remotely interested i urban matters. It's a bit tough to get through though and the visual presentation of the data could have been better, hence rendering the book a four rather than a five star grade.
Her theory in the original version went like this; Why oh why are there huge concentration of functions in Tokyo, London, New York, when so much IT allows easier communication and remote office and all that? Why do these cities grow, when all the production and other functions gets shipped off to backwater countries?
Well, she said, IT allowed the separation of production and management/development. That's why managers remain in cities with their high pay, while actual sweat work goes to third world child labor under measly wages.
But why did the cities grow bigger? Well, because cities are the new production centers. Management and stuff requires a lot of legal services and accountants and other services etc that are much easily available in the cities. That's why all those management stuff accumulated in the city.
But aren't those activites just leeches to the actual job? They don't create any new value, do they? Aha, she says. But they do! Look at all those financial innovations, like hedge funds and derivatives and stuff! Look how much money they are making! They are not leeches, they are creating new values. You gotta throw away your old ideas about the economy! Only cities can produce that sort of new financial products, and that's why London, NY, Tokyo are growing!
There was another brownie point. Her theory went very well with shallow anti-globalism arguments. Managers stay in NY/London with high pays, while at the factories half way around the globe, workers suffer forever under low wage.
But exactly when the first edition came out, everything changed.
First was the collapse of the Japanese economy, that took down Tokyo with it. Her theory had nothing to prepare or explain this. What happened to the new production? What happened to all those financial innovation? Why didn't that work in Tokyo? In the book, Sassen tries to answer this using various ad-hoc excuses, but the more she does it, the less convincing the original proposition becomes. So it wasn't THAT important, after all? All those theories of yours were only subordinate to those other stuff that you never mentioned before?
And yes, what about those innovations? Collapse of LTCM and huge hedge funds etc. since the first edition made finance less glamorous. Arbitrage does increase some efficiency of the market, which does create some value. But they were not the major new "product" to sustain the world.
Her theory about the separation of production and management wasn't so hot afterall. Look at Asia, look at China! Concentration of production functions REQUIRED many management and design / development functions to go along with them. Also, the factories did make the workers richer, and as a result, much of Asia and China really became better off. There are dicrepancies, and differences in earnings, but its nothing like what Sassen had described.
It's amazing that NOTHING of here original theory remained. In this second version, she tries to pick up the pieces, but they are too completely destroyed to be picked up, and the effort is almost painful to read. I wonder why she even bothered with the second edition. It's not a book worth salvaging in 2001, and it's hardly worth reading, except as a sad but amusing look back at the strange ideas of the past.