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The Lewis Mumford Reader

Mumford, Lewis

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ISBN 10: 0394555260 / ISBN 13: 9780394555263
Verlag: Pantheon, 1986
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This volume brings together representative selections of Lewis Mumford's major writings on the central concerns of his life. Praised by Malcolm Cowley as "the last of the great humanists, " Mumford (1895-1990) produced a body of cultural criticism and commentary that for its range and richness is unmatched in modern American letters. Author of countless articles and more than thirty books - including the landmark works The Culture of the Cities and The City in History - Mumford is arguably this century's foremost architectural critic. In addition, he shaped some of the most important public policy debates of our time, writing with vigor on such issues as urban development, transportation policy, land planning, the environment, nuclear disarmament, and the problems and promises of technology.

Rezension: The great architectural critic, historian, and urban planner Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) was no uncritical fan of city life, although most of his own days were spent in and around New York. Taking a long view of human history, he determined that the mechanization and materialism on which cities thrived were agents of alienation, and that most of the inventions of modern times were at root just shoddy gewgaws. Writing in The New Yorker and other journals, he praised the better aspects of the metropolis--the stunning beauty, for instance, of the Brooklyn Bridge--arguing always that technology ought to serve one overarching end, namely "the continued growth of human personalities and the cultivation of the best life possible."

Mumford wrote more than 30 books and thousands of essays and articles, of which only a small but nicely representative sampling is included in this anthology of his work. Some of the ideas the reader will encounter are scarcely more than pet peeves (Mumford complains, for instance, that for all our technological sophistication our designers can't get the height of a toilet right); others, pointing the way toward the ideal city and a healthy relationship between the metropolis and the surrounding countryside, shimmer like great intellectual cathedrals.

For readers seeking an introduction to Mumford's work and thought, this book fills the bill exactly. --Gregory McNamee

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Bibliografische Details

Titel: The Lewis Mumford Reader

Verlag: Pantheon

Erscheinungsdatum: 1986

Zustand: very good


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