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Eyes on the street : the life of Jane Jacobs / Robert Kanigel

Catalog Data

Kanigel, Robert  Search this
Jacobs, Jane 1916-2006  Search this
Physical description:
viii, 482 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Biographies (literary works)
United States
20th century
Part I: An uncredentialed woman, 1916-1954. A generous place to live ; Outlaw ; Ladies' nest of owls, and other milestones in the education of Miss Jane Butzner ; The great bewildering world ; Morningside Heights ; Women's work ; Amerika ; Trushchoby -- Part II: In the big world, 1954-1968. Disenchantment --Ten minutes at Harvard ; A person worth talking to ; A manuscript to show us ; Mother Jacobs of Hudson Street ; The physical fallacy ; West Village warrior ; Luncheon at the White House ; Gas masks at the Pentagon -- Part III: On Albany Avenue, 1968-2006. A circle of their own ; Settling in ; Our Jane ; Flummoxed ; Adam, Karl, and Jane ; Webs of trust ; Ideas that matter ; Civilization's child
"Chronicles the life of a noted activist who wrote seven groundbreaking books, including her most famous, The Death and Life of Great American Cities; saved neighborhoods; stopped expressways; was arrested twice; and engaged at home and on the streets in thousands of debates -- all of which she won,"--NoveList.
The first full-scale biography of Jane Jacobs, the irrepressible woman who with her book The Death and Life of American Cities, and others that followed, so profoundly changed the way we think about and live in cities that, to this day, her influence can still be felt in any discussion of urban planning, or in any conversation about what cities mean to us. Jacobs is brought to life here by Robert Kanigel, the writer who introduced us to Indian mathematician Ramanujan and to industrialist Fredrick Winslow Taylor. Based on new sources and interviews, as well as on archival letters and other material, this is a revelation of the phenomenal woman, who, while raising three children, wrote seven groundbreaking books; saved neighborhoods; was arrested twice; and engaged--at home, on the podium, and on the streets--in thousands of impassioned debates, all of which, it could seem, she won. Here is the girl who challenged her third-grade teacher; the high school poet; the journalist who honed her writing and observational skills at Architectural Forum, Fortune, and other magazines, while amassing the knowledge and contacts she would draw upon to write her most famous book. We accompany her on New York's streets as she forms her opinions about what makes a city grow or fail, and meet the architects and planners and power brokers she battled with so vigorously. Each of her books and its reception are thoroughly discussed. Here, too, is the activist who helped lead ultimately successful protests against Robert Moses's proposed expressway that would have cut off her beloved Greenwich Village; and who, in order to keep her sons out of the Vietnam War, moved to Canada, where she applied her ideas about what made cities thrive to a new setting, becoming as well known and admired there as she was in the United States. Eyes on the Street--Jacobs's phrase for the vital human presence in a healthy neighborhood--is a penetrating, engaging portrait of a woman of fearless spirit and intellect whose every action and thought was often unexpected, always original and, ultimately, of lasting importance.--Adapted from dust jacket.
City planners  Search this
City planning--History  Search this
Urban renewal--History  Search this
Sociology, Urban--Philosophy  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries