Author(s): John Reader

Non Fiction

John Reader, author of the seminal book "Africa: A Biography of the Continent," now brings us "Cities: A Magisterial Exploration of the Nature and Impact of the City from Its Beginnings to the Mega-Conurbations of Today -- an eye-opening journey from the earliest settlements in Mesopotamia to the sprawling megalopolises of today -- Tokyo, Mexico City, and Sao Paolo. Reader reveals how cities came to be, what made them thrive, how they declined, and how they remade themselves. He debunks long-held theories and shows that the first cities actually preceded and inspired the growth of farming; that trees grow better in cities; and that even though three thousand years separated Imperial Rome from the Sumerian cities, their everyday lives were quite similar and share commonalities with our lives today. Focusing as much on Baron Haussman's creation of the Paris sewers as on his plans for the grand boulevards, on prostitution as on government, on human lives as on architecture, on markets as on cathedrals, Reader gives us a humanistic work fit to stand alongside Lewis Mumford's classic, "The City in History." Throughout this stimulating survey, Reader proves a marvelous tour guide to what he calls "the brightest stars in the constellation of human achievement." First published 2004.


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"A superb historical account of the places in which most of us either live or will live."
-"Conde Nast Traveller
"Vastly entertaining."

John Reader is an author and photojournalist. He holds an Honorary Research Fellowship in the Department of Anthropology at UCL and is a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and the Royal Geographic Society.

General Fields

  • : 9780099284260
  • : Vintage
  • : Vintage
  • : 0.356
  • : September 2005
  • : 198mm X 131mm X 26mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : John Reader
  • : Paperback
  • : New edition
  • : 307.76
  • : 384
  • : Illustrations, maps