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Showing 1-10 of 18 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 35 reviews
on November 26, 2013
A definitive classic, a must read from a brilliant mind. The book was a national book of the year back in the early sixties and is still avant garde. It should be required reading for all leaders in society of both the private and public sector. There should be an ethical requirement as well as one of profit when designing our modern cities and this book provides the windows for the proper viewing!
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on March 1, 2014
I first encountered this book in the 60's in high school, where it was a favorite of my history and social studies teacher. Ordered this copy because I had given a previous one away.

Mumford's theses are classic historical analysis and remain pertinent to today. Particularly his view that encroaching bureaucracy poses - as he demonstrates it has for millennia - the most significant threat to the preeminence of dominant cultures.
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on July 16, 2002
Lewis Mumford deftly explores the formation and development of the city from its early Mesopotamian and Egyptian roots to its modern day manifestations. It is the logical extension of his earlier works on the subject, in particular "The Culture of Cities," which has been partially absorbed into this volume. Of particular interest to meis his analysis of the walled versus open cities, and the sharply opposing world views of the progenitors of these cities.
Mumford was particularly drawn to the early Hellenic and later medieval town planning ideals. He noted how the early cities knew their limits, and established satellite communities, rather than continually extend their boundaries. Loose-knit federations were formed, which were much more democratic than were the Roman and Baroque regimental cities.
He charts the evolution of modern city planning ideals, very critical of Le Corbusier's "Radiant City" and other megalomaniac ideas which arose in the 20th century. Mumford favored the "garden city" ideals of Ebeneezer Howard, which recognized the destructive impact of industrialization on urban centers; rather than those schemes which extolled the industrial city as the city of the future.
Mumford is careful not to over reach, or at least let you know when he is forming suppositions. His annotated bibliography is immense, and probably the single most compelling aspect of this book for those who want to read more on the subject. The new Harcourt paperback edition, which came when I ordered this volume, has a more handsome cover than that shown in this listing.
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on June 3, 2016
Best edition still aropunmd for purchase/. this is a classic. Fundamental reading for urban planners and associates like Land scape arch's.
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on August 28, 2016
The basic review of Architectural history as tied to human settlement. Read this book and go talk to the city council.
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on August 7, 2008
I couldn't find this book in Europe. They told me that it was finished it would never be reprinted again!
When I had the chance to buy it form Amazon, I took it in a minute!
Mumford's opinion for the "City" is so clear and yet so original that even people with no scientific intrest in this book, will enjoy reading it.
He has wonderful examples and detailed studies on the history of cities starting from Egypt, Greece Rome and Middle Ages.
Its a unique historical work that everybody should have it in their library!
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on November 9, 2011
Though it has been decades since the year this book was published, this book will never become out-dated. A few quotes were found errors or totally wrong later, but with surprisingly enormous knowledge, the author told us a beautiful story of human cities in a totally grace way. The name, Lewis Mumford, shall be remembered forever.
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on January 17, 2017
a must have for planners
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on December 3, 2016
Incredible detail.
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on December 4, 2013
A read this the second time as this was a mandatory read for my engineering degree. It is a classic, a penetrated history of Cities starting from the beginning of cities. An important read to understand the ingredients for a successful city.
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