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Nature of Economies
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About the Author

Jane Jacobs was the legendary author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, a work that has never gone out of print and that has transformed the disciplines of urban planning and city architecture. Her other major works include The Economy of Cities, Systems of Survival, The Nature of Economies and Dark Age Ahead. She died in 2006.

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From the author of the classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities: five friends discuss economics over coffee. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

"Provocative...engaging.... [Jacobs] is the archetypal iconoclast."-The Boston Book Review

Jacobs's 1961 classic, Death and Life of Great American Cities, broke new ground in its insistence that humane urban planning could result from looking intently at people's everyday lives as a microcosm of the needs of city, economic and national life. The book also showcased Jacobs's superb ability to weave her own and her neighbors' personal stories into her theories of urban planning and development. In this important, essentially philosophical new work on patterns of social and economic growth, Jacobs immerses herself in the role of storyteller, building her arguments through a series of conversations between a group of environmentally aware, countercultural friends talking about what it means for humans to interact, understand one another and dwell safely and without causing harm in the world. Jacobs's choice to explore this material within a Socratic dialogue might seem pretentious or simplistic in less skilled hands. Yet her tone and style are so assured that it is hard to imagine a straightforward, expository examination of the same ideas that conveys as much nuance. The approach also amplifies Jacobs's theme of exploring the myriad ways in which humans exist "wholly within nature" and not, as some environmentalists claim, as "interlopers." Drawing upon examples from nature, the physical sciences, evolutionary theory, mathematics and quantum physics, Jacobs cogently illustrates how human beings and the civilizations they create can be in harmony with the world around them. Sounding the same themes she has been investigating for the past 40 years, this witty, beautifully expressed book represents the culmination of Jacobs's previous thinking, and a step forward that deftly invokes a broader philosophical, even metaphysical, context. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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