Summary: David Harvey's historical work on 19th century Paris is universally regarded as brilliant. As much as Benjamin and Marx, he has demonstrated the absolute centrality of capital in creating the modern city--its class relations, culture, urban form, and social life. Yet until now, this work has been squirreled away in various collections, journals, and one long out-of-print book.
In Paris, Capital of Modernity, Harvey brings together all of this material, alon ...show moreg with some new essays, to present a sweeping account of the city in a remarkably turbulent era, framed by two failed revolutions. His key concern is how a new form of finance capitalism combined with a new type of planning vision to produce the prototypical modern city.
Also, there are brilliant insights throughout about subjects such as the birth of the consumerist spectacle on the Parisian boulevards; the creative visions of Balzac, Baudelaire, and Zola; and the reactionary cultural politics of the bombastic Sacré Coeur, the Catholic monument erected to efface all memory of the revolutionary Paris Commune that arose briefly when the empire collapsed.
Stunning in scope and form, Paris, Capital of Modernity is a long-awaited essential collection of David Harvey's magnificent writing on 19th century Paris. ...show less
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