The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects

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More About This Textbook


The city’s development from ancient times to the modern age. Winner of the National Book Award. “One of the major works of scholarship of the twentieth century” (Christian Science Monitor). Index; illustrations.

A history of the forms and functions fo the city throughout the ages, also a prophecy for the future. Winner of the National Book Award, 1962.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780156180351
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/28/1968
  • Pages: 784
  • Sales rank: 278,524
  • Product dimensions: 5.27 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 2.07 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 18, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Thorough Analysis of the City Across Time Things Lewis Mumford

    Thorough Analysis of the City Across Time

    Things Lewis Mumford likes: medieval towns and "garden city" ideals. Things Lewis Mumford does not like: Roman cities and capitalism. If you can make it through this dense, comprehensive work you will have a much better understanding of the history of cities. You will learn how they came into existence, what functions they performed, and what purposed they filled throughout time.

    Mumford asserts that "human life swings between two poles: movement and settlement." To illustrate this, he takes readers from the earliest cave dwellings up to the modern era. Well, the modern era of the 1960s, when The City in History was written. Though he has been criticized for veering off-point with his anti-capitalist sentiments and his fears about the future, as well as his failure to acknowledge any contributions made by certain periods (i.e. Roman), this is still a book to be reckoned with.

    The City in History is still referenced by urban planners, sociologists, etc. today and really makes you think about cities in a whole new way. This may not be the book you take with you to the beach, but it is still the best starting point for those who want to better understand how the urban form has evolved. The style may be dry at times (with so much information to touch on, this is difficult to avoid), but Mumford presents things in an interesting way. Like his point that the dead were the first in history to have permanent dwellings! Graveyard - I never thought of that, but it's true!

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  • Posted January 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    History from an Urban Perspective

    Mumford's book remains the standard historical overview of urban centers from ancient times to the modern era. A must for historians and anyone considering an urban planning or architectural career.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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