Lewis Mumford: Critic of Culture and Civilization
Lewis Mumford's achievements as an architectural critic, literary critic and urbanist are well known. However, his contribution to the American studies movement and to cultural studies in general has almost been forgotten in recent years. By situating Mumford's work in its contemporary intellectual context and by considering some of its legacies for the study of 'culture and civilization' - especially in the nascent field of American studies - this book considers Mumford as an 'author', drawing out some of the expressive, political and methodological significance of this term. In an attempt to counter frequent arguments that Mumford's works are inconsistent, repetitive and derivative, the author argues that, taken as a whole, they demonstrate a consistent inter-disciplinary or trans-disciplinary critical project, and that Mumford's thought is comparable with that of Marx and Weber. The book traces this critical project through Mumford's works from the early twentieth century and also through his formal process of writing. The author aims to show that Mumford's project was neither provincial nor reactionary, as some have argued, but was instead a dynamic juxtaposition of past and present that enabled him to imagine a future where humans might fulfil their potential in a more perfectly republican, even utopian, urban space.
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academic According to Mumford activities aesthetic American culture American Studies architects architecture artistic become Bellamy Bender Blake Brooklyn Bridge Brown Decades capitalism capitalist Casey Blake citizens civic Coketown concept critics of culture critique cultural criticism culture and civilization Culture of Cities democracy economic Edward Bellamy Emerson environment exploration Frank Lloyd Wright Geddes George Santayana Golden Day human Ibid ideal ideas industrial intellectual invention Karl Marx Kasson Leo Marx Lewis Mumford literary live Louis Sullivan machine Marx Marx's material materialistic mechanical Michael Sandel modern Morris's Mumford finds Mumford seems Mumford thinks Mumford's opinion Mumford's writing nature neighbourhood neotechnic Ogburn paleotechnic phase perspective philosophy planning political production public spaces Randolph Bourne rational regional republican Santayana social spatial sphere Story of Utopias Technics and Civilization thinkers Thoreau tion Trachtenberg tradition Urban Prospect values Waldo Frank Weber William Wojtowicz workers Wyck Brooks