The Conscience of the Eye: The Design and Social Life of Cities

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W. W. Norton & Company, Aug 17, 1992 - Political Science - 266 pages
Richard Sennett is an articulate writer whose style reveals a fascinating mind and above all, a keen pair of eyes. In relating our visual organ to the conscience, he implores us to start seeing our lives as wholly related to and organically integrated with, the cities that we live in. In this thoroughly original and important book, Sennett successfully avoids the tendency of many writers on urbanism to proffer 'well meaning' solutions, but instead takes us on a historical and psychological journey. He convinces his readers to focus on impulses and 'spriritual' reasons behind the creation of cities, ranging from the Greek ideals of 'grace' and 'balance' that produced the 'Agora' to the dilemmas of the modern soul that creates walls made of sheer glass. In chapter after chapter of engrossing reading anyone deeply interested in the well-being of urban life will begin to share his insights on urban forms. He articulates his views using descriptions of ordianry people's lives through history.

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THE CONSCIENCE OF THE EYE: The Design and Social Life of Cities

User Review  - Kirkus

In a critique of urban art (baroque churches to subway graffiti), architecture (Renaissance obelisks to the Union Club and Le Corbusier), and the social rituals that take place around them, Sennett ... Read full review

The conscience of the eye: the design and social life of cities

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Sennett's study of urban culture began with a discourse on public and private life, The Fall of Public Man ( LJ 12/15/76), and continued with the historical novel, Palais Royal ( LJ 12/86). This, the ... Read full review


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About the author (1992)

Richard Sennett’s books include The Corrosion of Character, Flesh and Stone, and Respect. He was the founding director of the New York Institute for the Humanities and now teaches sociology at New York University and at the London School of Economics.

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