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Considers what this central European metropolis tells us about the changing nature of urban life.
With the collapse of state socialism, the people of Budapest are re-arranging their points of reference as the cityscape's familiar signposts disappear. In what sense is the transformation of Budapest different from the experience of "Western" cities? What does all this mean if viewed, as this book suggests, as a part of global restructuring? Through Budapest's example, Judit Bodnár shows how the postsocialist experience of east-central European cities offers a fresh and instructive view of our general farewell to modernity.
Fin de Millénaire Budapest combines historical narratives and ethnographic accounts with quantitative evidence to create a richly detailed picture of a city subjected to the forces of great local and global change. In the privatizing of public space, the decline of manufacturing, the rapid growth of services, and the opening of opportunities for entrepreneurs, Bodnár captures global urban patterns-with a distinct, central European accent. In particular, she shows tensions between the liberating and fragmenting effects of the increasingly private use of urban space and some ways in which the new urban patterns both resemble and transcend cultural patterns from Budapest's socialist past.
Judit Bodnár is a research fellow at the Center for Russian, Central, and East European Studies, Rutgers University.
Globalization and Community Series, volume 8
Translation Inquiries: University of Minnesota Press