Lewis Mumford and Patrick Geddes: The Correspondence

Front Cover
Psychology Press, 1995 - Architecture - 383 pages
I am a disciple of Patrick Geddes, and I am an abject admirer of everything he has said and done." "The tantalising nearness of everything we most want; were it not for some fatal, stubborn grain in both of us, Geddes and I, linked together, intellectual and emotional, might still conquer the world. For lack of this, he will be imperfectly articulate and I, perhaps, will have nothing to say." These two comments by Lewis Mumford, written at either end of his largely epistolary relationship with Patrick Geddes, frame an astonishing correspondence between two of our century's greatest thinkers on Western civilisation. Mumford was the versatile New York cultural critic, famous for his writings on architecture, the city and technology. His "master", Geddes, was the Scots biologist, sociologist and planner, the "professor of things in general". The letters reveal much about the intellectual culture of the first half of the Twentieth Century as they chart an extraordinary Anglo-American relationship between very different men; this friendship, initially of master and disciple, even father/son, was based on a shared intellectual quest, and inspired the work of both. All that exists of those letters, and much previously unpublished material besides, has been meticulously collected and edited by Frank G. Novak Jnr..


Invitations to Collaboration
The Tragedy of the Relationship
Mumfords Criticism of Geddes
Note written after visit with

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