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Triumph of the City

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Triumph of the City

How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier

Edward L. Glaeser
The Penguin Press 2011 9781594202773

About the Book

America is an urban nation. More than two thirds of us live on the 3 percent of land that contains our cities. Yet cities get a bad rap: they're dirty, poor, unhealthy, crime ridden, expensive, environmentally unfriendly. . . . Or are they?

As Edward Glaeser proves in this myth-shattering book, cities are actually the healthiest, greenest, and richest (in cultural and economic terms) places to live. New Yorkers, for instance, live longer than other Americans. More than half of America's income is earned in twenty-two metropolitan areas. And city dwellers use, on average, 40 percent less energy than suburbanites.

Glaeser travels through history and around the globe to reveal the hidden workings of cities and how they bring out the best in humankind. Even the worst cities—Kinshasa, Kolkata, Lagos—confer surprising benefits on the people who flock to them, including better health and more jobs than the rural areas that surround them. Glaeser visits Bangalore and Silicon Valley, whose strangely similar histories prove how essential education is to urban success and how new technology actually encourages people to gather together physically. He discovers why Detroit is dying while other old industrial cities—Chicago, Boston, New York—thrive. He pinpoints the single factor that most influences urban growth—January temperatures—and explains how certain chilly cities manage to defy that link. He explains how West Coast environmentalists have harmed the environment and how struggling cities from Youngstown to New Orleans can "shrink to greatness."

Using intrepid reportage, keen analysis, and eloquent argument, Glaeser makes an impassioned case for the city's import and splendor. He reminds us forcefully why we should nurture our cities or suffer consequences that will hurt us all, no matter where we live.

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About the Author

Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor to City Journal. He studies the economics of cities, housing, segregation, obesity, crime, innovation, and other subjects, and writes about many of these issues for The New York Times blog, Economix. He serves as the director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at the Harvard Kennedy School. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1992.

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New Land Of Opportunity, Edward Glaeser, Forbes Asia, 5-03-11
What Rankings Show About Cities, Edward Glaeser, New York Times Economix, 5-03-11
What Crisis?, Edward Glaeser, Boston Globe, 4-07-11
How Skyscrapers Can Save the City, Edward Glaeser, The Atlantic, March 2011
Detroit's Decline and The Folly of Light Rail, Edward Glaeser, Wall Street Journal, 3-25-11
Behind Census Numbers, Edward Glaeser, Boston Globe, 3-24-11
>Our Best Plan For Growth Is To Set Our Cities Free, Edward Glaeser, Financial Times, 3-7-11
Not a Carbon Copy of the U.S., Edward Glaeser, Los Angeles Times, 2-28-11
City Air Still Makes You Free, Edward Glaeser, The Boston Globe, 2-24-11
Can Detroit Find the Road Forward?, Edward Glaeser, New York Times Economix, 2-22-11
To Get America Growing Again, It's Time to Unleash Our Cities, Edward Glaeser, New York Times Economix Blog, 2-14-11
Why NYC (Still) Rocks, Edward Glaeser, New York Post, 2-6-11
If We Build It, They Will Come, Edward Glaeser, Boston Globe Magazine, 1-23-11


Bloomberg Radio's On The Economy 3-8-11
Bloomberg Radio's Surveillance 3-8-11
KEEL-AM's Brainstormin' 3-7-11
WFAE (NPR)'s Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins 3-7-11
WHYY's Radio Times 3-7-11
WGB (NPR)'s Callie Crossley Show 3-10-11
WDET's Craig Fahle Show 3-11-11
Bloomberg Radio's "The Hays Advantage," 2-25-11
KUOW's "Weekday," 2-25-11
KERA's "Think," 2-24-11
KGO's "Ronn Owens Show," 2-24-11
KSFR's "The Journey Home," 2-24-11
KVON's "Late Mornings with Jeff Schectman," 2-24-11
WGVU's "Morning Show," 2-18-11
WPR's "The Joy Cardin Show" 2-17-11
KEEL's "Strategies for Living" 2-16-11
WNYC's "The Takeaway" 2-15-11
NPR's "Weekend Edition" 2-12-11
WNYC's Brian Lehrer, 2-10-11


C-SPAN's "Book TV," 3-13-11 (Watch the video)
Bloomberg News's Midday 3-10-11
NY1's "Inside City Hall" 3-2-11
WGN-TV's "Midday News," 2-23-11
Edward Glaeser on CNBC's "Squawk Box", 2-22-11
FOX News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto," 2-14-11
"Comedy Central's "Daily Show with Jon Stewart", 2-14-11



Manhattan Institute Book Forum, 2-3-11, View the event video


Why Cities Rock, Freakonomics Radio, 02-18-11


The Sunday Review: Triumph of the City, Edward Glaeser,Labor Uncut, 5-08-11
The Triumph of the City, John Buntin, Governing, 4-25-11
We Built This City On Hipsters And Airports, Christopher Shea, Washington Post, 3-17-11
Book Review: Triumph of the City by Edward Glaeser, Alex Massie, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 3-17-11
Metropolis on a Hill, Matthew Yglesias, Washington Monthly, March/April 2011
How To Save Dying Cities, Witold Rybczynski, Slate, 3-9-11
The Glories of Cities, Matthew Shaffer, National Review Online, 3-8-11
Let Cities Reach For The Sky, Marcus Gee, The Globe and Mail, 3-4-11
Why We Still Need Cities, Ezra Klein,, 03-4-11
City Reader, Country Reader, Macy Halford, The New Yorker's Book Bench, 03-2-11
A Self-Affirmation Manual for Urbanites, Carly Berwick, Next American City, 03-2-11
The Urban Edge, Alan Wallace, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 02-27-11
An Urgent Ode to the Urban in Edward Glaeser's 'Triumph of the City', Jonathan Liu, The New York Observer, 02-22-11
Books About Urbanism In The Age Of Climate Change, John King, San Francisco Chronicle, 02-13-11
Up, Up, Up, Diana Silver, New York Times Sunday Book Review, 02-13-11
A Tale Of Many Cities, The Economist, 02-10-11
Booklist Reviews Triumph of the City, Gilbert Taylor, Booklist Volume 107; Issue 11, 02-1-11 (subscription required)


Tiny Independent Studios Are Rising From The Ashes Of Big, Failed, Videogame Firms, The Independent, 4-7-11
The Splendor of Cities, New York Times, 2-8-11
Snow Muscles, Joe Keohane, New York Magazine, 1-28-11


The Indian dream is born in cities, Ullekh N.P, Economic Times, 03-15-11
A Conversation With Edward L. Glaeser, David Leonhardt, New York Times Economix Blog, 02-15-11
City Limits: A Conversation With Edward Glaeser, The Atlantic, 02-8-11
A talk with economist Edward Glaeser: Why America needs to love its cities more, Sarah Goodyear, Grist, 02-2-11

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