Skip to content

The Mysteries of the Great City: The Politics of Urban Design, 1877-1937
Stock Photo: Cover May Be Different

The Mysteries of the Great City: The Politics of Urban Design, 1877-1937 Paperback - 1997

by John Fairfield


From the publisher

The Mysteries of the Great City examines the physical, cultural, and political transformations of the American city between the Gilded Age and the New Deal. Focusing on New York, Chicago, and Cincinnati, John Fairfield demonstrates that these transformations before and after the advent of city planning were the result of political decisions influenced by corporate and private wealth.

The expansion and reorganization of the great city stood out as the most visible symbol of the transformation. The new metropolitan form, with its skyscraping business center, industrial satellites, crowded working-class neighborhoods, and exclusive suburbs, embodied an emerging corporate order. But the metropolis also disguised the new order and gave it an apparent physical implacability and inevitability that obscured the role of choice in its creation and therefore placed it beyond criticism. Fairfield unravels the mysteries of the new form to reveal the centrality of power and politics in urban design.

While acknowledging that a great many factors shaped urban development, Fairfield underscores the decisive role of human design. He argues that American cities, both before and after the advent of professional planning, have always been in some measure "planned." Discussing such figures as Frederick Law Olmsted, Henry George, Daniel Burnham, Frederic Howe, Edward Bassett, Robert E. Park, and Louis Wirth, Fairfield illuminates the political and intellectual conflicts among advocates of alternative paths of urban development.

The Mysteries of the Great City will enlighten all readers interested in the development of cities, particularly urban historians and planners. In pointing to the Gilded Age as a period of great possibilities of progressive reform, this study will also reward readers interested in the historical foundations of our modern society.

From the rear cover

The Mysteries of the Great City examines the physical, cultural, and political transformations of the American city between the Gilded Age and the New Deal. Focusing on New York, Chicago, and Cincinnati, John Fairfield demonstrates that these transformations before and after the advent of city planning were the result of political decisions influenced by corporate and private wealth. The expansion and reorganization of the great city stood out as the most visible symbol of the transformation. The new metropolitan form, with its skyscraping business center, industrial satellites, crowded working-class neighborhoods, and exclusive suburbs, embodied an emerging corporate order. But the metropolis also disguised the new order and gave it an apparent physical implacability and inevitability that obscured the role of choice in its creation and therefore placed it beyond criticism. Fairfield unravels the mysteries of the new form to reveal the centrality of power and politics in urban design. While acknowledging that a great many factors shaped urban development, Fairfield underscores the decisive role of human design. He argues that American cities, both before and after the advent of professional planning, have always been in some measure "planned". Discussing such figures as Frederick Law Olmsted, Henry George, Daniel Burnham, Frederic Howe, Edward Bassett, Robert E. Park, and Louis Wirth, Fairfield illuminates the political and intellectual conflicts among advocates of alternative paths of urban development. The Mysteries of the Great City will enlighten all readers interested in the development of cities, particularly urban historians and planners. In pointing to the Gilded Age as aperiod of great possibilities of progressive reform, this study will also reward readers interested in the historical foundations of our modern society.

Details

  • Title The Mysteries of the Great City: The Politics of Urban Design, 1877-1937
  • Author John Fairfield
  • Binding Paperback
  • Edition 2nd Printing
  • Pages 344
  • Volumes 1
  • Language ENG
  • Publisher Ohio State University Press, Columbus
  • Date June 1, 1997
  • Illustrated Yes
  • ISBN 9780814207543 / 0814207545
  • Weight 1.02 lbs (0.46 kg)
  • Dimensions 9.01 x 6.03 x 0.71 in (22.89 x 15.32 x 1.80 cm)
  • Library of Congress Catalog Number 93018133
  • Dewey Decimal Code 307.1

About the author

John D. Fairfield is associate professor of history at Xavier University and is the author of several articles on urban design and history.
Back to Top

More Copies for Sale

Mysteries of the Great City: The Politics of Urban Design, 1877-1937 (Urban Life & Urban...
Stock Photo: Cover May Be Different

Mysteries of the Great City: The Politics of Urban Design, 1877-1937 (Urban Life & Urban Landscape)

by John Fairfield

  • Used
  • Paperback
Condition
Like New
Binding
Paperback
ISBN 13
9780814207543
ISBN 10
0814207545
Quantity Available
1
Seller
Boonsboro, Maryland, United States
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Item Price
$14.65
$4.99 shipping to USA

Show Details

Description:
Ohio State University Press, 2021-01-28. Paperback. Like New. 6x0x9. Softcover. Good binding and cover. Light wear. Clean, unmarked pages.
Item Price
$14.65
$4.99 shipping to USA
The Mysteries of the Great City: Politics of Urban Design, 1877-1937 (Urban Life & Urban...
Stock Photo: Cover May Be Different

The Mysteries of the Great City: Politics of Urban Design, 1877-1937 (Urban Life & Urban Landscape S.)

by Fairfield, John D.

  • New
  • Paperback
Condition
New
Binding
Paperback
ISBN 13
9780814207543
ISBN 10
0814207545
Quantity Available
1
Seller
London, London, United Kingdom
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 3 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Item Price
$18.94
$25.26 shipping to USA

Show Details

Description:
Ohio State University Press, 1997. Soft cover. New. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. In original shrinkwwrap.
Item Price
$18.94
$25.26 shipping to USA
Mysteries of the Great City: The Politics of Urban Design, 1877-1937

Mysteries of the Great City: The Politics of Urban Design, 1877-1937

by John Fairfield

  • Used
  • Fine
  • Paperback
Condition
Used - Fine
Binding
Paperback
ISBN 13
9780814207543
ISBN 10
0814207545
Quantity Available
1
Seller
New York, New York, United States
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 3 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Item Price
$15.00
$5.00 shipping to USA

Show Details

Description:
Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1993. 8vo. 320 pp. Fine.. Paperback. Fine.
Item Price
$15.00
$5.00 shipping to USA
MYSTERIES OF THE GREAT CITY: THE POLITICS OF URBAN DESIGN, 1877-1937 (URBAN LIFE & URBAN LANDSCAPE)
Stock Photo: Cover May Be Different

MYSTERIES OF THE GREAT CITY: THE POLITICS OF URBAN DESIGN, 1877-1937 (URBAN LIFE & URBAN LANDSCAPE)

by JOHN FAIRFIELD

  • Used
  • good
  • Paperback
Condition
Used - Good
Binding
Paperback
ISBN 13
9780814207543
ISBN 10
0814207545
Quantity Available
1
Seller
HOUSTON, Texas, United States
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 4 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Item Price
$25.36
FREE shipping to USA

Show Details

Description:
Ohio State University Press, 1997-06-01. Paperback. Good.
Item Price
$25.36
FREE shipping to USA
Mysteries of the Great City: The Politics of Urban Design, 1877-1937 (Urban Life & Urban Landscape)
Stock Photo: Cover May Be Different

Mysteries of the Great City: The Politics of Urban Design, 1877-1937 (Urban Life & Urban Landscape)

by John Fairfield

  • Used
  • Paperback
Condition
Used:Good
Edition
1
Binding
Paperback
ISBN 13
9780814207543
ISBN 10
0814207545
Quantity Available
1
Seller
HOUSTON, Texas, United States
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 4 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Item Price
$38.94
FREE shipping to USA

Show Details

Description:
Ohio State University Press, 1997-06-01. 1. Paperback. Used:Good.
Item Price
$38.94
FREE shipping to USA
The Mysteries of the Great City: Politics of Urban Design, 1877-1937

The Mysteries of the Great City: Politics of Urban Design, 1877-1937

by John D. Fairfield

  • New
  • Paperback
Condition
New
Binding
Paperback
ISBN 13
9780814207543
ISBN 10
0814207545
Quantity Available
10
Seller
Southport, Merseyside, United Kingdom
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Item Price
$53.57
$12.56 shipping to USA

Show Details

Description:
Paperback / softback. New.
Item Price
$53.57
$12.56 shipping to USA
MYSTERIES OF THE GREAT CITY: THE POLITICS OF URBAN DESIGN, 1877-1937 (URBAN LIFE & URBAN LANDSCAPE)
Stock Photo: Cover May Be Different

MYSTERIES OF THE GREAT CITY: THE POLITICS OF URBAN DESIGN, 1877-1937 (URBAN LIFE & URBAN LANDSCAPE)

by JOHN FAIRFIELD

  • New
  • Paperback
Condition
New
Binding
Paperback
ISBN 13
9780814207543
ISBN 10
0814207545
Quantity Available
1
Seller
Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 4 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Item Price
$55.95
$12.63 shipping to USA

Show Details

Description:
Ohio State University Press, 1997. Paperback. New. 1st edition. 322 pages. 6.00x9.00x0.75 inches.
Item Price
$55.95
$12.63 shipping to USA