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If Venice Dies


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Table of Contents

1 Forgetful Athens 2 A Venice without Venetians 3 The Invisible City 4 Toward Chongqing 5 The Language of Skyscrapers 6 The Forma Urbis: Aesthetic Redemption 7 How Much Is Venice Worth? 8 The Paradox of Conservation, the Poetics of Reutilization 9 Replicating Venice 10 History's Supermarket 11 The Truth of the Simulacrum 12 Borders 13 The Right to the City 14 "Civic Capital" and the Right to Work 15 Spaceships of Modernity 16 Venice and Manhattan 17 The Architect's Ethics: Hippocrates and Vitruvius 18 Venice: A Thinking Machine

Promotional Information

Nationwide lecture tour, appearances on NPR and 60 Minutes, author profiles in The New Yorker and Vanity Fair.

About the Author

Salvatore Settis is an archaeologist and art historian who has directed the Getty Research Institute of Los Angeles and the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa. He is chairman of the Louvre Museum's Scientific Council. Considered the conscience of Italy for his role in spotlighting its neglect of the national cultural heritage, Settis's name has been mentioned frequently for the post of minister of culture and Italian president. He is the author of several books on art history as well as a regular contributor to major Italian newspapers and magazines.


"This powerful work of cultural criticism ... feels chock-full of insight. It shines a harsh light on the risks in the way we live, much as Jane Jacobs did in 'The Death and Life of Great American Cities' more than 50 years ago."--The Washington Post "A chilling account of the slow agony of Venice as illustrative of a global consumerist epidemic. Richly documented and imbued with deep angst about this supreme urban creation."--Philippe de Montebello, former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art "Anyone interested in learning what is really going on in Venice should read this book."--Donna Leon, author of My Venice and Other Essays and Death at La Fenice "An impassioned plea that every lover of Venice, urban planner, architect, and cultural historian should read."--Kirkus (Starred review) "A bracing tonic ... enlightening."--The New York Times "Brilliant ... This book should be required reading for every citizen."--The New Criterion "At once a moving eulogy for Venice and a resounding manifesto, enriched by a dense web of historic, literary and cultural allusions."--Publishers Weekly "This bracing and beautifully written book outlines how threats to Venice are amplified not only because of its unique, precarious geography, but because of similar threats to urban health across the planet."--Architectural Record "Eloquent ... a cautionary tale for the inhabitants of every still-breathing, still-not-like-every-other-megalopolis, city."--Maclean's "Settis shows how the tragedy of Venice could happen to any city which has a past. It's a powerful polemic."--Richard Sennett, author of The Fall of Public Man and Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization, and Professor of Sociology, New York University and the London School of Economics "A terrific book ... serious and important."--Common Edge "Settis is an archeologist and an art historian, and here he writes with flash and passion about the present and future of Venice ... a grim but downright thrilling short book."--Open Letters Monthly "A joy to read, and its righteous anger at the awful predicament facing Venice and other historic cities is an invaluable resource to be visited again and again by those who love cities."--Architecture Here and There "For author Salvatore Settis, Venice's transformation from functioning historic metropolis to tourist destination amounts to a catastrophe ... It is hard not to see the logic of his claims."--The Brooklyn Rail "Venice is indeed unique but it stands for all cities in this eloquent, furious blast against the commodification of our planet and the relentless destruction of human communities by the mentality of markets."--Roger Crowley, author of City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas "This book valiantly shows why Venice--crossroads of civilization, art and commerce, eternal place of love--cannot be allowed to perish."--Diane von Furstenberg, Vice Chairman, Venetian Heritage Council "An elegant indictment of the challenges Venice faces from today's rapacious economic environment. Settis offers an ethical prescription for re-imagining and resuscitating the historical uniqueness of Venice and Venetian life."--Eric Denker, coauthor of No Vulgar Hotel: The Desire and Pursuit of Venice and Senior Lecturer, National Gallery of Art "A lament for the day-by-day destruction of great beauty ... full of anger and disappointment at what the author sees as the moral bankruptcy of Italy today."--The Art Newspaper "The vision of Settis is particularly gloomy and pessimistic, but there is still hope."--Corriere della Sera "Salvatore Settis wants to curb the sellout of cities ... Balancing sharp intellect and moral indignation, lucid writing and impassioned argument, his polemic makes for captivating reading."--Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung "Settis's analysis extends to all cities. Only active citizenship can save them from the greed of real estate speculators."--Desmond O'Grady, former European editor of The Transatlantic Review and author of The Road Taken "With his book, Settis has clarified what conservationism and the protection of our cultural heritage should mean."--Il Manifesto

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