Jane Jacobs
Random House/Modern Library, New York, 2011; originally published 1961, English
Nonfiction, Urban Design
7.3 x 4.8 x 1.6 inches, hardcover, 640 pages
ISBN: 9780679644330
Suggested Retail Price: $23.00

From the Publisher. Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of its initial publication, this special edition of Jane Jacobs’s masterpiece, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, features a new Introduction by Jason Epstein, the book’s original editor, who provides an intimate perspective on Jacobs herself and unique insights into the creation and lasting influence of this classic.

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 sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners.

Also see The Death and Life of Great American Cities (original edition).

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Alissa Walker

The timing could not be more perfect for the reissue of what might be the best book about changing the way we live with one another. I know, you've read it. So have I. But let me make the case for reading it again. Something happened this year, a shift in our thinking about cities. As Americans seem to rediscover their sidewalks, and bike lanes begin to lace through our metropolises, it feels like we’re finally ready to listen to what Jacobs has to say. Jason Epstein was Jacobs’s editor at Random House and in his introduction, he provides the background for the book’s debut (including a funny response by Robert Moses, who returned the book to the publisher). I dare you to find another 50-year-old book that is as unequivocally relevant today.

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