When the World Trade Towers in New York City were erected at the Hudson's edge, they led the way to a real estate boom that was truly astonishing. Divided We Stand reveals the coming together and eruption of four volatile elements: super-tall buildings, financial speculation, globalization, and terrorism. The Trade Center serves as a potent symbol ...
When the World Trade Towers in New York City were erected at the Hudson's edge, they led the way to a real estate boom that was truly astonishing. Divided We Stand reveals the coming together and eruption of four volatile elements: super-tall buildings, financial speculation, globalization, and terrorism. The Trade Center serves as a potent symbol of the disastrous consequences of undemocratic planning and development.This book is a history of that skyscraping ambition and the impact it had on NewYork and international life. It is a portrait of a building complex that lives at the convergence point of social and economic realities central not only to New York City but to all industrial cities and suburbs. A meticulously researched historical account based on primary documents, Divided We Stand is a contemporary indictment of the prevailing urban order in the spirit of Jane Jacobs's mid-century classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities.
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Publishers Weekly, 1996-07-15 Set in the mid-1600s in an unnamed northern European port much like Antwerp, Darton's seductive fable is a stylistic tour de force, a dazzling parable about the birth of the modern age with its terrors and promise. It unfolds as the diary of a Leonardo-like inventor, scientist, surgeon, memory expert and sexual acrobat whose inventions include explosives, anesthetics, a military airship and humanlike automata. This unnamed polymath, scornful of the city's privileged burghers and full of withering irony as a keen observer of human failings, has made a Faustian pact with his patron, Roberto, a ruthless, grandiloquent merchant and slave trader whose traffic in human cargo morally repulses the narrator. Adela, the inventor's mistress, is a healer and herbalist who lapses into delirium and communes with an entity she calls Master. The plot centers on Roberto's attempt to seize absolute political power and the inventor's devious schemes to foil his patron's tyrannical ambitions. Darton, who teaches media, technology and cultural studies at Hunter College in New York, creates weird symbols of technology run amok, such as Friedrich, Roberto's garrulous talking duckæno mere clockwork mechanism but a multilingual bird that resents its manipulative master. Published in a compact 41/2"x 63/4" format, this short debut novel is reminiscent of Italo Calvino's work in its dashing mingling of history and fantasy. Author tour. (Sept.)
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