Lewis Mumford on YouTube, talking about the city in history

Lewis Mumford appeared on the cover of TIME on 18 April 1938 (click here to view), after the publication of his first book on the city, The Culture of Cities. Read the review here. He published a second, The City in History, in 1961, reviewed in TIME with the title "Books: Necropolis Revisited" (read here). I spent many afternoons in the Mumfords' country house and got to know Lewis through long conversations with his widow, Sophia, and I've read his books and gone through many of his letters and photographs. [...]

June 27th, 2011|Categories: Oddments|Tags: , , , |

"This twittering world" – T. S. Eliot

Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future, And time future contained in time past. These lines from T. S. Eliot's poem "Burnt Norton" have appeared in some of our promotional materials as I explained the importance of our work on world history, and the future. But I ought to read more thoroughly. I have to thank a friend, Dan Burstein, writing on a listserv, for bringing the following section of the poem to my attention. Dan brought this up in reference to current discussion about [...]

November 23rd, 2010|Categories: Oddments|Tags: , , |

Bulletin boards, real & virtual

I was dashing out for a walk before darkness fell but a couple walking up Castle Street waylaid me by crossing the street to introduce themselves. This is what community life is like - we can't do everything on our own schedules. But there's a big upside. I not only met two neighbors, but heard that they are happy about the bulletin board I put up on the corner of my property, at Castle and Hollenbeck, and that they like the email list (a virtual bulletin board or BBS) even [...]

November 22nd, 2010|Categories: Oddments|Tags: , |

Dogs aren

Pets are all too important in some people's lives, and as real-life community ties decline it seems that more people are getting dogs. I wanted to see what research there is about this, and was glad to find a rational discussion at a site for dog lovers - a dog blog. The writer says that of course it's obvious that pets cannot satisfy our need for human companionship and community. So why do some dog owners insist that their pets are "just like people" or "just like family"? . . [...]

August 27th, 2010|Categories: Oddments|Tags: , , |