City A-Z: Urban Fragments

Routledge
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Featuring a fantastic line up of contributors, The City A-Z introduces students to a refreshingly new way of thinking about and understanding cities and urban life. Specially comissioned short entries capture moments of the city, constantly surprising the reader with entries ranging from poetry to prose, from paintings to a photo-essay, and from rigorous noisy analysis to quiet stories of city life. An "ideas" map, similar to the London Underground map, links all the different themes providing a route through this unique text.
Includes contributions from: Ash Amin , Anette Baldauf , David Bell, Walter Benjamin, Alistair Bonnett, Iain Borden, Stephen Cairns, Iain Chambers, Steve Graham, Dolores Hayden, Steve Hinchcliffe, Mary King, Deborah Levy, Eugene McLoughlin, Harvey Molotch, Miles Ogborn, Steve Pile, Roy Porter, Jane Rendell, Saskia Sassen, David Sibley, Sharon Zukin
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About the author

Steve Pile is Senior Lecturer in social sciences at the Open University. Nigel Thrift is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Bristol.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Dec 6, 2012
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9781135639716
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Earth Sciences / Geography
Social Science / Human Geography
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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In this New York Times bestseller, an award-winning journalist uses ten maps of crucial regions to explain the geo-political strategies of the world powers—“fans of geography, history, and politics (and maps) will be enthralled” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram).

Maps have a mysterious hold over us. Whether ancient, crumbling parchments or generated by Google, maps tell us things we want to know, not only about our current location or where we are going but about the world in general. And yet, when it comes to geo-politics, much of what we are told is generated by analysts and other experts who have neglected to refer to a map of the place in question.

All leaders of nations are constrained by geography. In “one of the best books about geopolitics” (The Evening Standard), now updated to include 2016 geopolitical developments, journalist Tim Marshall examines Russia, China, the US, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Japan, Korea, and Greenland and the Arctic—their weather, seas, mountains, rivers, deserts, and borders—to provide a context often missing from our political reportage: how the physical characteristics of these countries affect their strengths and vulnerabilities and the decisions made by their leaders.

Offering “a fresh way of looking at maps” (The New York Times Book Review), Marshall explains the complex geo-political strategies that shape the globe. Why is Putin so obsessed with Crimea? Why was the US destined to become a global superpower? Why does China’s power base continue to expand? Why is Tibet destined to lose its autonomy? Why will Europe never be united? The answers are geographical. “In an ever more complex, chaotic, and interlinked world, Prisoners of Geography is a concise and useful primer on geopolitics” (Newsweek) and a critical guide to one of the major determining factors in world affairs.
'...this is a book with an interesting thesis, and a welcome contribution to the literature. Pile has opened up a productive theoretical and empirical space for further study and exploration' - RGS-IBG Urban Geography Research Group

What is real about city life? Real Cities shows why it is necessary to take seriously the more imaginary, fantastic and emotional aspects of city life.

Drawing inspiration from the work of Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud and Georg Simmel, Pile explores the dream-like and ghost-like experiences of the city. Such experiences are, he argues, best described as phantasmagorias. The phantasmagorias of city life, though commonplace, are far from self-evident and little understood. This book is a path-breaking exploration of urban phantasmagorias, grounded empirically in a series of unusual and exciting case studies.

In this study, four substantial phantasmagorias are identified: dreams, magic, vampires and ghosts. The investigation of each phantasmagoria is developed using a wide variety of clear examples. Thus, voodoo in New York and New Orleans shows how ideas about magic are forged within cities. Meanwhile vampires reveal how specific fears about sex and death are expressed within, and circulate between, cities such as London and Singapore. Taken together, such examples build a unique picture of the diverse roles of the imaginary, fantastic and the emotional in modern city life.

What is "real" about the city has radical consequences for how we think about improving city life, for all too often these are over-looked in utopian schemes for the city. Real Cities forcefully argues that an appreciation of urban phantasmagorias must be central to what is considered real about city life.

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