Archive for the ‘Marshall Berman’ Category

James Harkin in yesterday’s Guardian, drawing parallels between Marshall Berman’s recently reissued classic, All That Is Solid Melts Into Air and Jay-Z’s recently spoofed classic, Empire State of Mind:

What unites Jay-Z and Berman is their lack of nostalgia, their insistence on movement and mobility. It hurts Berman to say it, but even if the Bronx had been left untouched by development, he wouldn’t have stayed. “For the Bronx of my youth was possessed, inspired, by the great modern dream of mobility. To live well meant to move up socially, and this in turn meant to move out physically; to live one’s life close to home was not to be alive at all.

It’s a little scary for some, but this modernist vision is the most generous and democratic one that we have. What this rapper and this Marxist seem to share is a conviction that cities and societies that stop moving forward, that don’t open themselves to perpetual flux and that are not constantly on the move, are as good as dead.

Read the full article here.


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Restless Cities edited by Matthew Beaumont and Gregory Dart

Leading intellectuals reimagine the city as a site of ceaseless change and motion. Includes essays by Iain Sinclair, Geoff Dyer and Patrick Keiller.

Paperback – 344 pages – 9781844674053 – £12.99 – 2010

The Situationists and the City: A Reader by Tom McDonough

“A highly readable and well-organised compendium that is likely to be fingered for some time, it lays out neatly the movement’s visionary take on the city (read Paris) ‘as the primary site of alienation in modern society’.” Christian Viveros-Faune, Art Review

Paperback – 256 pages – 9781844673322 – £14.99 – 2010

Hardback – 256 pages – 9781844673643 – £65.00 – 2010

The Invention of Paris: A History of Footsteps by Eric Hazan

“This is a wondrous book, either to be read at home with a decent map, or carried about sur place through areas no tourists bother with.” Adam Thorpe, Guardian

Hardback – 400 pages – 9781844674114 – £20.00 – 2010

Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit

“A history of walking that is about time and space and consciousness of the world as much as about putting one foot in front of the other.” Erica Wagner, The Times

New Edition – Paperback – 336 pages – 9781844675586 – £8.99 – 2006

Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism by Stephen Graham

“A rigorously researched, pioneering book packed with disturbing and at times astonishing information.” Anna Minton, Icon

Hardback – 432 pages – 9781844676155 – £19.99 – 2010

Planet of Slums by Mike Davis

“If it’s apocalypse you want – and frankly who doesn’t, because how else to explain the mess we’re in – nobody does it better.” Guardian

“The astonishing facts hit like anvil blows … a heartbreaking book.” Financial Times

New Updated Edition – Paperback – 256 pages – 9781844671601 – £8.99 -2007

City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles by Mike Davis

“A history as fascinating as it is instructive.” Peter Ackroyd, The Times

“Los Angeles faces a perilous millennium whose emerging contours will surely have no more brilliant prophet than Davis. ” Alexander Cockburn, London Review of Books

New Edition – Paperback – 462 pages – 9781844675685 – £10.99 -2006

Hollow Land: Israel’s Architetcure of Occupation by Eyal Weizman

“In Hollow Land, Eyal Weizman has taken [Edward] Said’s thesis to a new level, generating extraordinary, and at times surreally uncomfortable, conclusions… Weizman’s book is of salutary interest.” Jay Merrick, Independent

Hardback – 318 pages – 9781844671250 – £19.99 -2007

Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity by Marc Augé

Augé uses the concept of “supermodernity” to describe a situation of excessive information and excessive space. In this fascinating essay he seeks to establish an intellectual armature for an anthropology of supermodernity.

Paperback – 128 pages – 9781844673117 – £10.99 -2009

Hardback – 128 pages – 9781844673223 – £45.00 -2009

On the Town: One Hundred Years of Spectacle in Times Square by Marshall Berman

“Berman’s cultural history of New York’s Times Square is a personal view of a public space.” Independent

Paperback – 320 pages – 9781844673971 – £9.99 -2009

Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US City by Mike Davis

Magical Urbanism is a lively, trenchant inquiry into a demographic phenomenon on great importance.” Times Literary Supplement

Paperback – 208 pages – 9781844672646 – £10.99 -2008

Hardback – 208 pages – 9781844672476 – £55.00 -2008

Rule of Freedom: Liberalism and the Modern City by Patrick Joyce

“There is no one writing whose feet are so firmly in the streets of the past and whose head is so creatively engaged with ways of theorising it. A joy to read it.” David Vincent, Keele University

Hardback – 276 pages – 9781859845207 – £18.00 -2003

The Emergence of Social Space: Rimbaud and the Paris Commune by Kristin Ross

“A rare example of cultural studies done with zest as well as depth.” The Nation

Paperback – 176 pages – 9781844672066 – £6.99 -2008

Night Haunts: A Journey Through the London Night by Sukhdev Sandhu

“I would add Sandhu’s work to the likes of Lights Out for the Territory as offering some of the greatest insights we have into contemporary London.” Michael Moorcock, Daily Telegraph

Hardback – 160 pages – 9781844671625 – £10.99 – 2007

Postmodernism: or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism by Fredric Jameson

“For anybody hoping to understand not just the cultural but the political and social implications of postmodernism … Jameson’s book is a fundamental, nonpareil text.” Gilbert Adair, Sunday Times

Paperback – 432 pages – 9780860915379 – £16.99 – 1991

Basrayatha: The Story of a City by Muhammad Khudayyir

By turns a memoir, a travelogue, a love letter, and a meditation, Basrayatha summons up a city long gone, yet which lives on in the memories and imaginations of its people.

Paperback – 184 pages – 9781844672332 – £7.99 -2008


All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity by Marshall Berman

“The imaginative range, intellectual force and infectious generosity of this book … place it incontestably in the gallery of canonical texts.” Mica Nava, Times Higher Education Supplement

Paperback – 392 pages – 9781844676446 – £14.99 – 2010

FORTHCOMING in October 2010:

A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain by Owen Hatherley

New Labour came to power in 1997 amid much talk of regenerating the inner cities left to rot under successive Conservative governments. Over the next decade, urban environments became the laboratories of the new enterprise economy: of finance, property speculation, and the service industry. Now, with New Labour capsized, Owen Hatherley sets out to explore the wreckage––the architecture that epitomized an age of greed and selfish aspiration. From riverside apartment complexes, art galleries and amorphous interactive “centers” to shopping malls, call centers and factories turned into expensive lofts, Hatherley maps the derelict Britain of the 2010s, an emphatic expression of a failed politics.

Hardback – 256 pages – 9781844676514 – £17.99

FORTHCOMING in January 2011:

Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory by Edward W. Soja

“One of the most challenging and stimulating books ever written.” David Harvey

Paperback – 228 pages – 9781844676699 – £8.99

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Marshall Berman talks to Jonathan Derbyshire in the New Statesman about the new edition of All That is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity:

It was the end of the postwar boom and also the end of the New All That is Solid ImageLeft. One of the things I wanted to say was that even though we had lost in the short run, we were going to win in the long run. I wanted the book to convey that, but I didn’t want to say it in a soapbox way. I wanted to create a vision of the world in which there were still possibilities. And that was different from a lot of 20th-century left-wing visions according to which, basically, life is over.

Read the full article here.

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The new edition of Marshall Berman’s All That Is Solid Melts Into Air is praised by Chris Foges for Architecture Today as an

excellent account of modernity… The range of reference is broad – Goethe, Baudelaire, Pushkin and Gogol, Paris and St Petersburg – but some of the best parts of the book deal with Berman’s own experience of growing up in the New York of Robert Moses.

Read the full review here.

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Restless Cities is a revelatory journey into the heart of our metropolitan world. Geoff Dyer’s chapter explores the notion ‘inhabiting’ through his obsession for a cup of coffee and a doughnut:

Nietzsche so hated what he called “enduring habits” that he was grateful even to the bouts of sickness or misfortune that caused him to break free of their chains. Unlike Nietzsche I succumb all too easily to enduring habits. I like to go back to the same few places all the time – then, as soon as I break free of the prison of routine, I am left wondering why I kept going to a place I had stopped enjoying years earlier.

In September 2004 I rented a studio apartment on 37th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues, in Manhattan. It was a very busy period for me; all sorts of things had to be sorted out with some urgency, but nothing was more urgent than the need to find a local cafe I could go to every day for my elevenses.

Given that so many conditions had to be met, this was easier said than done. First, the coffee had to be exactly as I liked it, although I would have been hard pressed to define exactly how this was. Second, the pastry had to be exactly as I liked it. By pastry I mean a croissant or doughnut – I don’t like those American staples: muffins or bagels.

Read the full article here.

To mark the publication of Restless Cities, editors Matthew Beaumont and Gregory Dart are joined by contributors Marshall Berman, Geoff Dyer and Iain Sinclair to discuss the metropolis as a site of endless making and unmaking of identities. See here for booking and details.

The panel discussion will be followed by a series of walking tours – please see below for details.

  • Tuesday 15 June, 3-5pm / UCL, Room 101, 30 Russell Square

FOOTSTEPS Roundtable discussion, on the role of footsteps in reconstructing moments in the cultural history of particular parts of cities. Speakers include Marshall Berman, Ardis Butterfield, Henderson Downing, Owen Hatherley, Victoria McNeile and Mica Nava. It is co-organised by contributors to Restless Cities, Matthew Beaumont and Esther Leslie.

  • Wednesday 16 June, 5.30pm

Marshall Berman delivers the annual lecture at The Centre for Cultural Studies Research at University of East London: “Urban Ruins: City Life with Urbicide”, University of East London, West Building Ground Floor Theatre. Book your free seat by emailing Gill Perkins at g.s.perkins@uel.ac.uk


Thursday 17 June, 6.30pm, Matthew Beaumont:The Convalescent and the London Coffee House. See here for booking and details.

Thursday 24 June, 6.30pm, Gregory Dart: Daydreaming. See here for booking and details.

Saturday 26 June, 3.00pm, Mark W. Turner: Zigzagging. See here for booking and details.

Sunday 27 June, 3.00pm Esther Leslie: A Saccadic Stroll. See here for booking and details.

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Christopher Hirst is charmed by On the Town, Marshall Berman’s study of specatcle in Times Square.

Berman’s cultural history of New York’s Times Square is a personal view of a public space. He once egged his father into blowing smoke rings like the famous advert for Camel cigarettes.  When his father died at 48, the sign “became gall and wormwood to  me… it was really an ad for American imperialism.” Berman’s previous book was Adventures in Marxism, but this work is as lively as Times Square itself.

Read the full article here.

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The Financial Times have selected their books of the year:

In the architecture section, FT architecture critic Edwin Heathcote selects Marshall Berman’s On the Town:

“The square is here in all its incarnations, its congestion, commercialism, the pop fantasy of its billboards, its seediness and its Disneyfied revival.”

Berman’s first book, The Politics of Authenticity, which marked the entrance of an extraordinary public intellectual, is also out now.

FT film critic Nigel Andrews’ preview pick is A Short History of Cahiers du Cinémaby Emilie Bickerton – out in early spring 2010.

“The French New Wave directors all came from Cahiers du Cinéma, a magazine that turned film criticism upside down in the 1950s. The salvoes of its sagacity are finely charted by Bickerton, who also laments the recent slide into dumbed-down mediocrity.”

Read the full article here.

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