The City in Mind
Notes on the Urban Condition
By James Howard Kunstler
(Free Press, Paperback, 9780743227230, 288pp.)
Publication Date: December 31, 2002
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In the highly acclaimed The Geography of Nowhere, James Howard Kunstler declared suburbia "a tragic landscape" and fueled a fierce debate over how we will live in twenty-first-century America. Here, Kunstler turns his discerning eye to urban life in America and beyond in dazzling excursions to classical Rome, the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, Louis-Napoleon's Paris, the "gigantic hairball" that is contemporary Atlanta, the ludicrous spectacle of Las Vegas, and more. Seeking to discover what is constant and enduring in cities at their greatest, Kunstler explores how America got lost in suburban wilderness and locates pathways that might lead to civic revival. His authoritative tour is both a concise history of cities and a stunning critique of how they can aid or hinder social and civil progress. By turns dramatic and comic, The City in Mind is an exceptional glimpse into the urban condition.
James Howard Kunstler is the author of two previous nonfiction books, The Geography of Nowhere and Home from Nowhere, and eight novels. His articles appear regularly in The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Slate, and Metropolis.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Kunstler has given thousands of ordinary Americans a vocabulary for articulating what they love and loathe about their surroundings.
Lloyd Eby The World & I Kunstler's acerbic opinions and mastery of the apposite phrase, occurring on nearly every page, make for exhilarating reading.
Sam Morris San Francisco Chronicle Kunstler brings a real-world practicality that's lacking in too many books about cities. He's a thorough reporter, with a lively style.
Michael Fainelli The Christian Science Monitor Disturbing others' sense of normality is something Kunstler does well...everyone who knows his work acknowledges his power to wake up a crowd.