The City in Time and Space

The City in Time and Space

by Aidan Southall (Author)


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.


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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 484
Edition: New Ed
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Published: 21 Aug 2008

ISBN 10: 0521784328
ISBN 13: 9780521784320
Book Overview: An ambitious accessible book about urbanisation and urbanism worldwide, from earliest times to the present.

Media Reviews
'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
Ambitious in its broad sweep and written both elegantly and insightfully, this book aims to trace the long and complex thread of urbanism over the past eight millennia. Choice