PositiveThe New York Times Book Review... an ambitious agenda for addressing what ails our largest cities ... Those like myself expecting a focused package of predictions about the shape and implications of pandemic recovery will find something entirely more expansive and entertaining ... The discussion about the American health system that follows is a sobering one—drawing the distinction between its ability to care for the individual and its failure to protect the population as a whole ...If there’s a weak link in this fast-paced and highly readable journey through the challenges facing America’s cities, it’s the inevitable gulf between ideas and implementation, which the authors themselves at points recognize ... Solutions aside, the book serves as a useful tool in the effort to redefine the role of the city in an age of increasingly polarized politics ... I would have liked to see this book touch even briefly on the future of America’s second- and third-tier cities ... If we have learned nothing else from the era of Donald Trump, it is that our biggest, bluest urban centers—and the outsize challenges they face—should not be the sole lens through which we look at America’s future.
PositiveThe Wall Street JournalPart travelogue, part history lesson and part tutorial, her book infects us with the passion she feels for what she does all day as a London-based engineer for a multinational firm ... Buildings serve as one spine of her story ... Bridges serve as another recurring theme ... the book as a whole is a decidedly personal one. It includes regular, and somewhat distracting at times, references to Ms. Agrawal’s childhood in upstate New York and Mumbai, her trips abroad with her parents, and ultimately her experience of finding a husband ... Built conveys insight into the built environment in an unusually accessible style—the kind of insight that will help lay readers look differently at the world around them.