The Death and Life of Great American Cities

  • by Jane Jacobs, Jason Epstein (introduction)
  • Narrated by Donna Rawlins
  • 18 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning....[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book's arguments."
Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early 60s, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs's small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable.
The author has written a new foreword for this Modern Library edition.

More

What the Critics Say

"The most refreshing, provacative, stimulating and exciting study of this [great problem] which I have seen. It fairly crackles with bright honesty and common sense." (Harrison Salisbury, The New York Times)
"One of the most remarkable books ever written about the city... a primary work. The research apparatus is not pretentious - it is the eye and the heart - but it has given us a magnificent study of what gives life and spirit to the city." (William H. Whyte, author of The Organization Man)

More

See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Dated But Relevant

A must read for the history of urban life and how important it is to think of cities like a living organism, in need of understanding on a deeper level, and in need of sustenance from within and above. Also provides a road map of local political action in confronting governmental mistakes and powerful people. Gives great power to the working poor. Written in the early 1960s about a New York City urban life that no longer exists, it still rings true for older listeners who remember such a time.
Read full review

- deborah

Robotic voice narration

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A different narrator


What did you like best about this story?

The actual story


Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Donna Rawlins?

Someone less robotic (I think this narrator must be the person they hire for voice programming making her voice associated with Siri-esque narration)


What character would you cut from The Death and Life of Great American Cities?

N/A


Read full review

- Kristina Charleston

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-13-2011
  • Publisher: Random House Audio