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Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution
     

Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution

by David Harvey
 

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Long before the Occupy movement, modern cities had already become the central sites of revolutionary politics, where the deeper currents of social and political change rise to the surface. Consequently, cities have been the subject of much utopian thinking. But at the same time they are also the centers of capital accumulation and the frontline for struggles over who

Overview

Long before the Occupy movement, modern cities had already become the central sites of revolutionary politics, where the deeper currents of social and political change rise to the surface. Consequently, cities have been the subject of much utopian thinking. But at the same time they are also the centers of capital accumulation and the frontline for struggles over who controls access to urban resources and who dictates the quality and organization of daily life. Is it the financiers and developers, or the people?

Rebel Cities places the city at the heart of both capital and class struggles, looking at locations ranging from Johannesburg to Mumbai, and from New York City to São Paulo. Drawing on the Paris Commune as well as Occupy Wall Street and the London Riots, Harvey asks how cities might be reorganized in more socially just and ecologically sane ways—and how they can become the focus for anti-capitalist resistance.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Taking Henri Lefebvre’s 1967 essay, “The Right to the City,” as his jumping-off point, Harvey (Social Justice and the City) examines real estate booms and busts and predation on vulnerable populations; commodification of culture; neo-liberal capitalist dominance; and urban uprisings, from the Paris Commune to the massive 2006 protest against U.S. anti-immigrant policies to urbanized peasants and mineworkers in El Alto, Bolivia, who organized themselves and instigated a progressive Bolivian government. He asks: “Is there something about the urban process and the urban experience... under capitalism, that, in itself, has the potential to ground anti-capitalist struggles?” In the process, he considers what a collective right to the city could mean to those who create and revivify it, and defines problems for which any viable anticapitalist movement must have answers: the material impoverishment of much of the world’s population; the dangers of environmental degradations and ecological transformations; and the “sheer impossibility” of endless capital accumulation and compound growth. Academic Marxists and other social critics are the book’s likely primary audience, but intellectuals in the Occupy movement may appreciate its descriptions of historic and international parallel urban struggles to reclaim public space and build culture, and they may be intrigued by Harvey’s musings on how to grow a lively, resilient revolutionary anticapitalist movement beyond the local. (Apr.)
Naomi Klein
“David Harvey provoked a revolution in his field and has inspired a generation of radical intellectuals.”
Richard Sennett
“Harvey is a scholarly radical; his writing is free of journalistic clichés, full of facts and carefully thought-through ideas.”
Benjamin Kunkel
“Whose streets? Our streets! In Rebel Cities David Harvey shows us how we might turn this slogan into a reality. That task—and this book—could hardly be more important.”
Guardian - Owen Hatherley
“Forensic and ferocious.”
Financial Times
“A consistent and intelligent voice of the left.”
Owen Hatherley - Guardian
“Forensic and ferocious.”
From the Publisher
“Whose streets? Our streets! In Rebel Cities David Harvey shows us how we might turn this slogan into a reality. That task—and this book—could hardly be more important.”—Benjamin Kunkel, author of Indecision and a founding editor of N+1

“David Harvey provoked a revolution in his field and has inspired a generation of radical intellectuals.”—Naomi Klein

“Challenging and timely.”—Red Pepper

“Forensic and ferocious.”—Owen Hatherley, Guardian

“Harvey’s clarion demand [is] that it is ‘we,’ not the developers, corporate planners, or political elites, who truly build the city, and only we who can seize back our right to its control.”—Jonathan Moses, Open Democracy

“Intellectuals in the Occupy movement [will] appreciate Rebel Cities’ descriptions of the historic and international parallel of urban struggles to reclaim public space and build culture, and be intrigued by Harvey’s musings on how to grow a lively, resilient revolutionary anticapitalist movement.”—Publisher's Weekly

“A consistent intelligent voice of the left.”—Edwin Heathcote, Financial Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781844679041
Publisher:
Verso Books
Publication date:
04/04/2012
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
216
Sales rank:
802,069
File size:
1 MB

What People are Saying About This

Richard Sennett
Harvey is a scholarly radical; his writing is free of journalistic clichés, full of facts and carefully thought-through ideas.
Naomi Klein
David Harvey provoked a revolution in his field and has inspired a generation of radical intellectuals.

Meet the Author

David Harvey teaches at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and is the author of many books, including Social Justice and the City, The Condition of Postmodernity, The Limits to Capital, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Spaces of Global Capitalism, and A Companion to Marx’s Capital. His website is davidharvey.org


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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