City in History

In: English and Literature

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Washington University Law Review
Volume 1962
Issue 3 Symposium: The City in History by Lewis Mumford
January 1962

Some Observations on Lewis Mumford’s “The City in History”
David Riesman

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Recommended Citation
David Riesman, Some Observations on Lewis Mumford’s “The City in History”, 1962 Wash. U. L. Q. 288 (1962).
Available at: http://openscholarship.wustl.edu/law_lawreview/vol1962/iss3/2

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SOME OBSERVATIONS ON LEWIS MUMFORD'S
'THE CITY IN HISTORY'
DAVID RIESMAN*
For a number of years I have not had any time to undertake book reviews but I feel so keenly the importance and excitement of Mumford's work, and my own personal debt to that work, that I wanted to contribute to this symposium even if I could not begin to do justice to the task. What follows are my only slightly modified notes made on reading selected chapters of the book-notes which I had hoped to have time to sift and revise for a review. I hope I can give some flavor of the book and of its author and invite readers into the corpus of
Mumford's work on their own.
1. Lewis Mumford correctly says in the book that he is a generalist, not a specialist; indeed until recently he has not had (or perhaps wanted to have) a full-time academic position. There are generalists faute de mieux, who cannot make the grade in a specialty; there are other generalists, of whom Mumford is one, who transcend the specialties-indeed whose legacy is often…...

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