A magisterial study of the city from its beginnings to the mega-conurbations of today.
Cities is a fascinating exploration of the nature of the city and city life, of its structures, development and inhabitants.
From the ruins of the earliest cities to the present, John Reader explores how cities coalesce, develop and thrive, how they can decline and die, how they remake themselves. He investigates their parasitic relationship with the countryside around them, the webs of trade and immigration they rely upon to survive, how they feed and water themselves and dispose of their wastes. The book is a sweeping exploration of what the city is and has been, fit to stand alongside Lewis Mumford's 1962 classic The City in History.
"The most enjoyable book ever written about the city" * The Times *
"Fascinating... Cities is a celebration of its subject's refusal to be explained or controlled" -- Lawrence Norfolk * Guardian *
"An entertaining read" * Literary Review *
"Vastly entertaining... Reading Cities is like wandering with an erudite companion through a great city in which the past rubs shoulders with the present and surprises lurk around every corner" * Time *
"A superb historical account of the places in which most of either live or will live" * Conde Nast Traveller *