Cities by John Reader
A Magisterial Exploration of the Nature and Impact of the City from Its Beginnings to the Mega-Conurbations of Today

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John Reader, author of the seminal book Africa: A Biography of the Continent, now brings us Cities: A Magisterial Exploration of the Nature and Impact of the City from Its Beginnings to the Mega-Conurbations of Today—an eye-opening journey from the earliest settlements in Mesopotamia to the sprawling megalopolises of today—Tokyo, Mexico City, and Sao Paolo. Reader reveals how cities came to be, what made them thrive, how they declined, and how they remade themselves. He debunks long-held theories and shows that the first cities actually preceded and inspired the growth of farming; that trees grow better in cities; and that even though three thousand years separated Imperial Rome from the Sumerian cities, their everyday lives were quite similar and share commonalities with our lives today. Focusing as much on Baron Haussman’s creation of the Paris sewers as on his plans for the grand boulevards, on prostitution as on government, on human lives as on architecture, on markets as on cathedrals, Reader gives us a humanistic work fit to stand alongside Lewis Mumford’s classic, The City in History. Throughout this stimulating survey, Reader proves a marvelous tour guide to what he calls "the brightest stars in the constellation of human achievement."
 

About John Reader

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John Reader is an author and photojournalist. He holds fellowships in the Department of Anthropology at University College London, the Royal Anthropological Institute and the Royal Geographic Society.
 
Published August 12, 2005 by Atlantic Monthly Press. 384 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography, Professional & Technical, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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He offers closer looks at specific cities: Venice, Havana, Mexico City, Milan, Madrid, Cleveland, London (immediately after the Great Fire of 1666) and Berlin.

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The New York Times

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The premise of Dale Peck’s middle-grade series, Drift House, could serve as a metaphor for novel-reading: you enter a mysterious and promising house, then find yourself adrift on timeless waters, adventure all around.

Jun 03 2007 | Read Full Review of Cities: A Magisterial Explora...

The Guardian

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Cities by John Reader 400pp, William Heinemann £20 Polluting, parasitic, overcrowded and violent: cities have always been popular with humans.

Sep 11 2004 | Read Full Review of Cities: A Magisterial Explora...

The Globe and Mail

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Michael Helm's new novel explores what happens when two emotional exiles come together

Apr 23 2010 | Read Full Review of Cities: A Magisterial Explora...

Los Angeles Times

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New York in the 1990s and the Dutch town of Haarlem in the early years of the 17th Century coexist in this novel, unified by the powerful presence of the painter Frans Hals and the author's uncommon ease in two widely divergent worlds.

Oct 04 1994 | Read Full Review of Cities: A Magisterial Explora...

Seattle PI

(Though fans of Pop surrealist Mark Ryden will be disappointed to learn that the standard edition of his new Taschen collection, Pinxit, is $1000, and the deluxe model is $6000.) Four Cities is a curious hybrid, a slipcased set of 12 modest softcover books full of travel tips for for the well-hee...

Nov 30 2011 | Read Full Review of Cities: A Magisterial Explora...

Project MUSE

As Carp notes, loyalist leaning New Yorkers came to understand that Whig leaders were very "effective at mobilizing companies in taverns" to resist despised imperial policies and leaders, even to the point of crowd actions that the King's friends complained about as orchestrated "drunken anarchy"...

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TCPalm / AP

(AP Photo/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) "The Drowned Cities," Paolo BacigalupiA new Paolo Bacigalupi novel is reason to celebrate — no matter how old you are.Bacigalupi's latest, "The Drowned Cities," is his second straight young adult release, but that shouldn't deter the writer's older...

Jun 10 2012 | Read Full Review of Cities: A Magisterial Explora...

London School of Economics

A series of essays explore different elements of cultural governance across cities, followed by a collection of chapters dedicated to both old world cities such as London and New York, and emerging cities such as Sao Paulo and L’Viv, and outline key issues faced by the city and its policy makers.

Jun 17 2012 | Read Full Review of Cities: A Magisterial Explora...

The Verge

Bacigalupi is at his best when he treats the science in his stories as a black box When Mouse and Mahlia find Tool nearly dead and hunted by a local warlord, Mahlia devises a loose plan to use Tool both to escape the Drowned Cities and to buy a modicum of the power that has been used so often to ...

Apr 27 2012 | Read Full Review of Cities: A Magisterial Explora...

Prague Post

Bell, the Zhiyuan chair professor of arts and humanities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Avner de-Shalit, dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have drawn on their own experiences traveling and living in cities on several continents to compile this fa...

Apr 11 2012 | Read Full Review of Cities: A Magisterial Explora...

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