City Life

City Life

by Witold Rybczynski
     
 

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In City Life, Witold Rybczynski looks at what we want from cities, how they have evolved, and what accounts for their unique identities. In this vivid description of everything from the early colonial settlements to the advent of the skyscraper to the changes wrought by the automobile, the telephone, the airplane, and telecommuting, Rybczynski reveals how our urban… See more details below

Overview

In City Life, Witold Rybczynski looks at what we want from cities, how they have evolved, and what accounts for their unique identities. In this vivid description of everything from the early colonial settlements to the advent of the skyscraper to the changes wrought by the automobile, the telephone, the airplane, and telecommuting, Rybczynski reveals how our urban spaces have been shaped by the landscapes and lifestyles of the New World.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rybczynski presents a historical survey of the development of American cities. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Architectural and urban historian Rybczynski (The Most Beautiful House in the World, LJ 4/1/89) has something to say about the shape of American cities, how they got that way, and how they inevitably contrast with their counterparts in Europe given the development of this country and our distincitve set of values. In succinct, accessible style, he moves from the flourishing of towns and cities in Europe to Tocqueville's assessment of the New World's urban efforts, to a sharp condemnation of urban planning in the last decades as a violation of America's values of spaciousness, choice, and self-sufficiency. At times the book seems a bit breezy, but Rybczynski can toss of terrific insights, e.g., conditions in the New World "gave American towns an independence of spirit, but also reinforced the general assumption that urban self-sufficiency was was the normal state of affairs"-which was certainly not true in the rest of the world and, he points out, has created some of the problems we have today. A fine book; recommended for most collections.-Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684825298
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
10/28/1996
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
934,442
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

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