PositiveThe Wall Street Journal... authoritative ... tells Fuller’s story in greater detail than ever ... takes the reader on a long and arduous journey, accompanying Fuller as he tirelessly dives into new ventures intended to change the world, never managing to make them commercially successful ... Mr. Nevala-Lee’s account prompts some interesting speculations about the philosophical roots of Fuller’s outlook and agenda.
RaveWall Street JournalMark Vanhoenacker has crafted an eloquent personal tribute to [cities] ... This is not a scholarly book on cities, yet Mr. Vanhoenacker does enjoy digging into the literature on the cities he loves ... His own observations, as well as his research on cities, are always highly particular ... While Imagine a City never reflects on the loneliness of the life of commercial pilots, that theme does come across between the lines ... He writes as someone who, from a very early age—looking at a metal globe—wanted to explore the world, to get to know it all, to touch it, so to speak, everywhere. I share that urge. Many of us still do. And for those of us who do, Imagine a City will hold us in a warm, welcome embrace.
PositiveThe Wall Street JournalMr. Christiansen’s book is a highly readable introductory text, not an academic treatise. He does not propose a new perspective on the crafty and imperious baron and his illustrious works, nor does he engage other historians in the lively debates surrounding him ... City of Light sheds little new light ... Instead Mr. Christiansen grounds Haussmann’s story in the political turmoil of the times ... What comes across clearly in Mr. Christiansen’s account is that Haussmann operated skillfully in a highly complex political environment, making his accomplishments all the more astounding. Some of the controversies the author avoids, though, would help explain the relevance his story has for cities in our current age ... City of Light should whet readers’ appetites to pursue Haussmann’s story further.
PositiveThe Wall Street JournalThe sociologist and urbanist Richard Sennett is a thoughtful writer with far-ranging interests and a keen eye for hidden patterns and complex processes that may escape the casual observer. He has always been a pleasure to read ... In Building and Dwelling he explores the possibility and, for him, the moral necessity of humans crafting and forging the cities they live in rather than passively inhabiting them ... Using some successful real-world examples, however anecdotal and small in scale, Mr. Sennett seeks to convince us that his vision of the open city shows us a hopeful, practical way forward as we try to think through the challenges confronting our cities today ... It is a cause for worry, therefore, that he does not address or mention the strongest counterexample to his vision ... In short, the open city model proposed and elaborated upon in Building and Dwelling, though highly attractive to all those who cherish the freedom to shape their lives, is now dysfunctional.