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The City in Time and Space

The City in Time and Space


  • Date Published: November 1999
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521784320

£ 47.99

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About the Authors
  • This ambitious book treats urbanisation and urbanism all over the world, and from the earliest times to the present. Aidan Southall, a pioneer in the study of African cities, discusses the urban centres of ancient Sumeria, Greece and Rome, as well as medieval European cities, Chinese, Japanese, Islamic and Indic cities, colonial cities, and the great metropolises of the twentieth century. Drawing on this historical and comparative perspective, he offers a fresh analysis of world urbanisation in the contemporary period of globalisation. The study emphasises the enduring paradox of the city, which juxtaposes splendid cultural productions with the poverty and deprivation of the majority.

    • First attempt to look at the human experience of the city from its earliest beginnings to the present
    • Offers uniquely original interpretation, balanced coverage, and compressed
    • Author acknowledged leader in the field of urban anthropology
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Aidan Southall's research in East Africa pioneered what came to be known as urban anthropology. This book offers a unifying vision of the field that has been long and sorely needed. His impressive knowledge of world urbanism, spanning the beginnings of civilisation to the present global oikumene, is deftly used for comparisons over time and between the Old and the New World.' Leonard Plotnicov, University of Pittsburgh

    'Professor Southall is probably the only scholar who could have written this book, which distils a lifetime's reflection on the most complex artifact ever devised by man into a narrative intelligible to all with a serious concern for the human environment. This book is a tour de force, a timely blending of theory and experience, which illuminates a broad sector of human social experience and provides a glimpse into the future.' Paul Wheatley, Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago

    'Aidan Southall applies a mature ethnographic sensibility to this sweeping excursion through ten thousand years of city life. From Sumeria, classical Greece, and imperial China through industrial Mancheste, Third World shanty towns and twentieth-century America, we see both humanity's 'splendid achievements' and its capacity to fashion regimes of inequality and grinding poverty.' Roger Sanjek, City University of New York

    'This is a book about cities written on the grand scale. … Southall has produced a magnificent synthesis. … this is a carefully written and stimulating book and deserves the serious attention of students and academics within the disciplines of anthropology and also sociology, history and political science.' Peter J. Collins, University of Durham

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 1999
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521784320
    • length: 484 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 27 mm
    • weight: 0.71kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus. 3 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. 'Writing the city under crisis'
    2. Pristine cities
    3. Greece and Rome
    4. Cities of the Feudal mode of production in Europe
    5. Asian cities: Asiatic and Feudal modes of production
    6. From colonial to Third World cities
    7. The transformation of the city: from the Feudal to the Capitalist mode of production, and on to the apocalypse.

  • Author

    Aidan Southall

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