Cover image for Song of the city : an intimate portrait of the American urban landscape
Song of the city : an intimate portrait of the American urban landscape
Popkin, Nathaniel R.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Four Walls Eight Windows, 2002.
Physical Description:
ix, 210 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HT123 .P635 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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During the last quarter of the 20th century, many American cities were in a state of decline. The automobile paved the way for suburban sprawl and white flight, leaving cities with crumbling infrastructures and high crime rates. A growing collective interest in saving cities, however, has begun to turn the tide. In this poetic love song to the American city, Nathaniel Popkin helps readers see the city as a dynamic being with an unmistakable life cycle. Using anecdotes about the neighborhoods and residents of one city, Philadelphia, the author examines the ways that people have inherited, adapted to, and altered the living city.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The indefinite singular article (an ) would be more appropriate in the subtitle of this paean to one of the Northeast' s oldest and most vibrant cities: Philadelphia. In Song of the City: An Intimate History of the American Urban Landscape, urban planner and activist Nathaniel Popkin walks the city' s 135 square miles, offering vivid descriptions (Like a heaving stomach, the bursts of noise come and go ) of the cityscape. And from the regulars at Abby' s Desert Lounge to attendees at Blue Bell Hill' s third annual neighborhood history night, the 12 members of the House of Prestige (Father Prestige' s Germantown shelter), and impatient tram riders, Popkin buttonholes his fellow citizens, and recounts their stories. (Aug. 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved