|Publisher||Harcourt, Brace and World|
The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects is a 1961 National Book Award winner by American historian Lewis Mumford.
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past, and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is concerned with events preceding written history, the individual is a historian of prehistory. Some historians are recognized by publications or training and experience. "Historian" became a professional occupation in the late nineteenth century as research universities were emerging in Germany and elsewhere.
Lewis Mumford was an American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and literary critic. Particularly noted for his study of cities and urban architecture, he had a broad career as a writer. Mumford was influenced by the work of Scottish theorist Sir Patrick Geddes and worked closely with his associate the British sociologist Victor Branford.
It was first published by Harcourt, Brace & World (New York).
Harcourt was a United States publishing firm with a long history of publishing fiction and nonfiction for adults and children. The company was last based in San Diego, California, with editorial/sales/marketing/rights offices in New York City and Orlando, Florida, and was known at different stages in its history as Harcourt Brace, & Co. and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. From 1919 to 1982, it was based in New York City.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and thus also in the state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Mumford argues for a world not in which technology rules, but rather in which it achieves a balance with nature. His ideal vision is what can be described as an "organic city," where culture is not usurped by technological innovation but rather thrives with it. Mumford contrasts these cities with those constructed around wars, tyrants, poverty, etc. However, the book is not an attack on the city, but rather an evaluation of its growth, how it came to be, and where it is heading, as evidenced by the final chapter "Retrospect and Prospect."
Mumford notes apologetically in his preface that his "method demands personal experience and observation," and that therefore he has "confined [him]self as far as possible to cities and regions [he is] acquainted with at first hand."
Mumford's florid writing style is also "organic" compared to the cold, mechanical style of many history texts. Stylistically, his works are full of metaphors and similes, as well as quotations from famous novelists, giving his prose shades of poetry. He refers to such texts as Great Expectations and Hard Times , sometimes using citations to illustrate to the reader what life was like during the industrial era and the city in which Dickens lived.
Great Expectations is the thirteenth novel by Charles Dickens and his penultimate completed novel: a bildungsroman that depicts the personal growth and personal development of an orphan nicknamed Pip. It is Dickens's second novel, after David Copperfield, to be fully narrated in the first person. The novel was first published as a serial in Dickens's weekly periodical All the Year Round, from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. In October 1861, Chapman and Hall published the novel in three volumes.
Hard Times – For These Times is the tenth novel by Charles Dickens, first published in 1854. The book surveys English society and satirises the social and economic conditions of the era.
Articles have been written on Mumford's use of metaphors and how his works can often be read as "fiction," in the sense that they have narrative flow. This is evident in this book, in which, instead of a human protagonist on which the story centers, we have the city and its growth in a quasi- bildungsroman fashion.
In literary criticism, a Bildungsroman is a literary genre that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood, in which character change is extremely important.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.
Clive Staples Lewis was a British writer and lay theologian. He held academic positions in English literature at both Oxford University and Cambridge University. He is best known for his works of fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.
Joseph John Campbell (1904–1987) was an American Professor of Literature at Sarah Lawrence College who worked in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work covers many aspects of the human experience. Campbell's most well-known work is his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), in which he discusses his theory of the journey of the archetypal hero shared by world mythologies, termed the monomyth.
A metaphor is a figure of speech that, for rhetorical effect, directly refers to one thing by mentioning another. It may provide clarity or identify hidden similarities between two ideas. Antithesis, hyperbole, metonymy and simile are all types of metaphor. One of the most commonly cited examples of a metaphor in English literature is the "All the world's a stage" monologue from As You Like It:
The Screwtape Letters is a Christian apologetic novel by C. S. Lewis and dedicated to J. R. R. Tolkien. It is written in a satirical, epistolary style and while it is fictional in format, the plot and characters are used to address Christian theological issues, primarily those to do with temptation and resistance to it.
George P. Lakoff is an American cognitive linguist and philosopher, best known for his thesis that lives of individuals are significantly influenced by the central metaphors they use to explain complex phenomena.
The Elements of Style is a prescriptive American English writing style guide in numerous editions. The original was composed by William Strunk Jr. in 1918, and published by Harcourt in 1920, comprising eight "elementary rules of usage", ten "elementary principles of composition", "a few matters of form", a list of 49 "words and expressions commonly misused", and a list of 57 "words often misspelled". E. B. White greatly enlarged and revised the book for publication by Macmillan in 1959. That was the first edition of the so-called "Strunk & White", which Time named in 2011 as one of the 100 best and most influential books written in English since 1923.
Metonymy is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is referred to by the name of something closely associated with that thing or concept.
In the biblical Book of Genesis, Cain and Abel are the first two sons of Adam and Eve. Cain, the firstborn, was a farmer, and his brother Abel was a shepherd. The brothers made sacrifices to God, each of his own produce, but God favored Abel's sacrifice instead of Cain's. Cain then murdered Abel, whereupon God punished Cain to a life of wandering. Cain then dwelt in the land of Nod, where he built a city and fathered the line of descendants beginning with Enoch.
The Gaia hypothesis, also known as the Gaia theory or the Gaia principle, proposes that living organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a synergistic and self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet.
Commonplace books are a way to compile knowledge, usually by writing information into books. Such books are essentially scrapbooks filled with items of every kind: recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulas. Commonplaces are used by readers, writers, students, and scholars as an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts they have learned. Each commonplace book is unique to its creator's particular interests. They became significant in Early Modern Europe.
The Gospel of Truth is one of the Gnostic texts from the New Testament apocrypha found in the Nag Hammadi codices ("NHC"). It exists in two Coptic translations, a Subakhmimic rendition surviving almost in full in the first codex and a Sahidic in fragments in the twelfth.
The ethologist John B. Calhoun coined the term "behavioral sink" to describe the collapse in behavior which resulted from overcrowding. Over a number of years, Calhoun conducted over-population experiments on Norway rats and mice . Calhoun coined the term "behavioral sink" in his February 1, 1962 report in an article titled Population Density and Social Pathology in Scientific American on the rat experiment. Calhoun's work became used as an animal model of societal collapse, and his study has become a touchstone of urban sociology and psychology in general.
Metaphysics is one of the principal works of Aristotle and the first major work of the branch of philosophy with the same name. The principal subject is "being qua being," or being insofar as it is being. It examines what can be asserted about any being insofar as it is and not because of any special qualities it has. Also covered are different kinds of causation, form and matter, the existence of mathematical objects, and a prime-mover God.
Technics and Civilization is a 1934 book by American philosopher and historian of technology Lewis Mumford. The book presents the history of technology and its role in shaping and being shaped by civilizations. According to Mumford, modern technology has its roots in the Middle Ages rather than in the Industrial Revolution. It is the moral, economic, and political choices we make, not the machines we use, Mumford argues, that have produced a capitalist industrialized machine-oriented economy, whose imperfect fruits serve the majority so imperfectly.
The Stone Tape theory is the speculation that ghosts and hauntings are analogous to tape recordings, and that mental impressions during emotional or traumatic events can be projected in the form of energy, "recorded" onto rocks and other items and "replayed" under certain conditions. The Idea draws inspiration and shares similarities with views of 19th century intellectualists and psychic researchers, such as Charles Babbage, Eleonor Sidgwick and Edmund Gurney. Contemporarily, the concept was popularized by 1972 Christmas ghost story called The Stone Tape, produced by the BBC. Following the movie's popularity, the idea and the term "stone tape" were retrospectively and inaccurately attributed to the British archaeologist turned parapsychologist T. C. Lethbridge, who believed that ghosts were not spirits of the deceased, but were simply non-interactive recordings similar to a movie.
The Myth of the Machine is a two-volume book taking an in-depth look at the forces that have shaped modern technology since prehistoric times. The first volume, Technics and Human Development, was published in 1967, followed by the second volume, The Pentagon of Power, in 1970. The author, Lewis Mumford, shows the parallel developments between human tools and social organization mainly through language and rituals. It is considered a synthesis of many theories Mumford developed throughout his prolific writing career. Volume 2 was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection.
Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities. It is considered to be an innate tendency of human psychology.
Mark Pendergrast is an American independent scholar and author of fourteen books, including three children's books.