Bubble Witch Saga 3 Industrial Deals Beauty Best Books of the Month STEM nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Learn more about Amazon Music Unlimited Get 10% cashback on thousands of musical instruments with your Amazon.com Store Credit Card Starting at $39.99 Grocery Handmade Tote Bags Home Gift Guide Off to College Home Gift Guide Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon BradsStatus BradsStatus BradsStatus  Introducing Echo Show Introducing All-New Fire HD 10 with Alexa hands-free $149.99 Kindle Oasis, unlike any Kindle you've ever held Shop Now ToyHW17_gno



There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Showing 1-10 of 15 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 31 reviews
on August 29, 2017
A great trip through antiquity to present day. Much insight to human behavior, causes and effects. Very readable but scholarly and well-researched. Those working toward a better future for humankind will find much insight here.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 20, 2016
This was a good read on the history of cities. I appreciate how the author talked about the importance that religion has played in the development of cities from the earliest civilizations. His conclusion was excellent on talking about how important it is to have a shared moral vision in cities in order for them to thrive.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 2, 2015
I really enjoyed reading it. The author is capable of taking the reader for a walk through history without emphasizing too much on a very specific stage of city development. Great overview of how our true global cities became what they are now.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 22, 2009
That's the long and the short of it. I found Kotkin's little essay on "suggested reading" useful - as were many of the sources he cited - but the text? Hardly at all. Full disclosure/truth in lending would have required Kotkin to entitle his book, "The City: A Thin Schematic Outline That Raises More Questions Than It Answers Before Ending Discussions Abruptly." For this is indeed simply an outline.

Fine: it's a short book, a mere 160 pp of text, plus almost 40 pp of notes (a good thing), and the 7 pp of suggested readings. I suppose the Modern Library's "Chronicles" format - "featuring the world's great historians on the world's great subjects," all at less than 200 pp - should have tipped me off, but there was the offsetting kudos of Witold Rybczynski: "A compelling and original synthesis that belongs on the urbanist's bookshelf with Lewis Mumford, Peter Hall, and Fernand Braudel." Yes, Prof. Rybczynski, I suppose so, but perhaps only as the first book to pull off that shelf for kindling when the cabin grows cold. Kotkin really doesn't deserve this bonbon from Rybczynski; nor does he belong in this seminal company. His book doesn't seem to contain much that's original; it seems mostly derived from the insights of others. (I suppose that's why it's a "synthesis.") For the most part, much of it - and surely its central thesis that cities are built on sacred, security, or commercial foundations - is in Mumford and Hall, much else, particularly on the rise of commercial cities, may be found in Braudel, and in the later chapters more contemporary writers like Daniel Bell, Saskia Sassen, Manuel Castells, Kenneth Jackson, and Joel Garreau, are among the many authorities who show up. Throughout, the discussion is cursory and in places absolutely superficial, as though lists of observations and authorities had been cobbled together into paragraphs that often end with a clunk.

On the Third World city Kotkin struck me as almost wholly without a clue, although I surmise that, had he written closer to the present time, he would have been able to cull a few interesting and relevant ideas from the World Bank's World Development Report 2009, in which the Bank turns a major corner on developing-economy cities, finally seeing them as potential developing-world engines of growth. Kotkin didn't himself divine any of this at the time of his writing, for the most part reheating accounts of the many pathologies of developing-world urbanization, misunderstanding, among other things, the pull of primate cities in an otherwise bleak,largely subsistence agrarian landscape - "cities = the promise of a better life for millions" - the structural role of informal economies in developing countries, and quite a bit more.

But the little "suggested reading" essay is extremely worthwhile. For this, and for the Robert Ezra Parks quote on "the city as a state of mind," two stars.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 2, 2013
Comprehensive. Startlingly frank and fresh look at urban planning from a brilliant conservative thinker and planner who looks at the entire landscape instead of the typical narrow "progressive" approach.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 8, 2016
As expected.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 25, 2013
Yep, as others have said, not so much a book as a series of thoughts linked by chapter headings. Maybe start with the last chapter and write the book from there . . .
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 12, 2016
Very good quality.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 14, 2015
Good info
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 20, 2015
Thank You.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse