Lewis Mumford's massive historical study brings together a wide array of evidence--from the earliest group habitats to medieval towns to the modern centers of commerce (as well as dozens of black-and-white illustrations)--to show how the urban form has changed throughout human civilization. His tone is ultimately somewhat pessimistic: Mumford was deeply concerned with what he viewed as the dehumanizing aspects of the metropolitan trend, which he deemed "a world of professional illusionists and their credulous victims." (In another typically unrestrained criticism, he dubbed the Pentagon a Bronze Age monument to humanity's basest impulses, as well as an "effete and worthless baroque conceit.") Mumford hoped for a rediscovery of urban principles that emphasized humanity's organic relationship to its environment. The City in History remains a powerfully influential work, one that has shaped the agendas of urban planners, sociologists, and social critics since its publication in the 1960s.
this book is fine. go get it from the library and learn the origins of the city. critique civilization and its facets with other books and never mind intellectual/acedemia. Read morePublished on Oct. 19 2003
The first three-fourths of Mumford's "The City in History" is a lengthy treatise on the origins and growth of the city, from Babylon to Medieval times. Read morePublished on Aug. 31 2001 by Chad M. Brick