A Biography of Our Urban Planet
by Carl Nightingale
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Pub Date 09 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 01 Jun 2022
This is a biography of Earthopolis, the only Urban Planet we know of. It is a history of how cities gave humans immense power over Earth, for good and for ill. Carl Nightingale takes readers on a sweeping six-continent, six-millennia tour of the world's cities, culminating in the last 250 years, when we vastly accelerated our planetary realms of action, habitat, and impact, courting dangerous new consequences and opening prospects for new hope. In Earthopolis we peek into our cities' homes, neighborhoods, streets, shops, eating houses, squares, marketplaces, religious sites, schools, universities, offices, monuments, docklands, and airports to discover connections between small spaces and the largest things we have built. The book exposes the Urban Planet's deep inequalities of power, wealth, access to knowledge, class, race, gender, sexuality, religion and nation. It asks us to draw on the most just and democratic moments of Earthopolis's past to rescue its future.
‘There's an exhilaration that comes with reading history written on this scale – much of our life that seems elusive or unconnected begins to make sense. And history is merely prelude to the future: on a planet of cities, our survival depends on seizing some of the clues this book contains.' Bill McKibben, author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out
‘Ours is the first century in which the majority of humankind lives in cities. Nightingale in this sprawling, imaginative, and clearly written book explains how we reached this point by exploring the political and ecological roles of cities in world history from ancient Mesopotamia to modern megalopoli.' J. R. McNeill, author of The Webs of Humankind
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