Beyond Nowhere – A Review of “The Man of the Crowd: Edgar Allen Poe and the City”

Peeples, Scott. The Man of the Crowd: Edgar Allan Poe and the City. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2020. Reviewed by Katherine J. Kim That we still associate the name Edgar Allan Poe with torture, insanity, loneliness, perversity, drug abuse, and drunkenness is owing in part to one Rufus Griswold, rival and author of perhaps […]

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Is This Placemaking Success Transferable? A Review of “Learning from Bryant Park: Revitalizing Cities, Towns, and Public Spaces”

Manshel, Andrew W. Learning From Bryant Park: Revitalizing Cities, Towns, and Public Spaces. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2020. Reviewed by Katie Uva On an August night in 1993, I was five years old and sitting in Bryant Park on a blanket on a lush bed of grass with my parents, their friends, and […]

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Visions and Realities — A Review of “New York, New York, New York”

Dyja, Thomas. New York, New York, New York: Four Decades of Success, Excess, and Transformation. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2021. Reviewed by Bob Carey To get at what Thomas Dyja is after in his new book, begin with the epilogue. Having drawn us into a lengthy but spirited chronicle which begins in the seventies […]

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A Crucible of Modern Global Capitalism–A Review of “Made in Hong Kong”

Hamilton, Peter E. Made in Hong Kong: Transpacific Networks and a New History of Globalization. New York: Columbia University Press, 2021. Reviewed by James Watson-Krips There are few places in the world quite like Hong Kong. Billed as “Asia’s World City,” it is today celebrated as much for its striking cityscape as its vibrant street […]

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Governing a City in the West Bank — A Review of “Mayor”

Mayor. Directed by David Osit. Rosewater Pictures, LLC, 2020. Reviewed by Maytal Mark City branding is not the topic one expects to dwell on in a documentary about Palestinian civil engineer and Ramallah mayor Musa Hadid. But Mayor director David Osit’s camera returns repeatedly to the visual symbol of the city’s prominent “WeRamallah” sign, built […]

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East German Influence on Urban Vietnam — A Review of “Building Socialism”

Schwenkel, Christina. Building Socialism: The Afterlife of East German Architecture in Urban Vietnam. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020. Reviewed by Katherine Zubovich By 1973, a decade of repeated U. S. air strikes had left the northern Vietnamese city of Vinh in ruins. In the coming years, Vinh would be rebuilt with the help of […]

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Skyscrapers and Stalinism — A Review of “Moscow Monumental”

Zubovich, Katherine. Moscow Monumental: Soviet Skyscrapers and Urban Life in Stalin’s Capital. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2021. Reviewed by  Zinaida Osipova While many people seek to understand why the Soviet Union fell apart, Katherine Zubovich focuses on one of its enduring successes—the seven skyscrapers designed under Joseph Stalin that still dominate Moscow’s landscape. […]

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China’s Overlooked Small Towns — A Review of “China in One Village”

Hong, Liang. China in One Village: The Story of One Town and the Future of the World. Translated by Emily Goedde. New York: Verso Books, 2021. Reviewed by Lei Zhang Good scholarly accounts of life in rural China have been scant of late, because of a dearth of accounts written by people acquainted with small-town […]

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Making Fashion and Design Capitals — A Review of “Paris to New York”

Pouillard, Véronique. Paris to New York: The Transatlantic Fashion Industry in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2021. Reviewed by Lauren Laframboise If you’ve bought clothes in recent decades, chances are that they’re products of a dizzyingly complex supply chain, involving hundreds of different people’s labor across several distant towns and cities. Although […]

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Conservative Policies and the Rust Belt — A Review of “Manufacturing Decline”

Hackworth, Jason. Manufacturing Decline: How Racism and the Conservative Movement Crush the American Rust Belt. New York: Columbia University Press, 2019. Reviewed by Kenneth Alyass During the turbulent 2016 election campaign Donald Trump spoke at a rally in Akron, Ohio, about the crisis of American cities. In what was advertised as a “pitch to minority […]

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