30 September 2014

A History of Future Cities, by Daniel Brook

Dubai, Mumbai, Shangai, and St. Petersburg: all Eastern, yet all Western in conception.

This was not an easy read, it took me a while to get through, and enhanced my library fines a bit, but I am glad I read it. These four cities share an unusual quality: they were all built in the East, but built to be as Western as possible.

I am no student of architecture, and a fair amount of architectural information is imparted here, but it didn't hurt me to read it. The history, on the other hand, was nothing less than fascinating. When Peter the Great desired to build St. Petersburg, he wanted Western architecture, art, and city planning -- but he did not want Western freedom of thought, speech, ideas, and religion. This theme exists to some extent in the other three cities of this book.

Daniel Brook's website

Washington Post review

Interview with Daniel Brook in the New Orleans Review

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