Auto-centric life maximizes social alienation, destroys public space, and lays waste to the once glorious American landscape.

uglysprawl.jpgSprawl in Altoona, Pa.(thisisbossi/Flickr)
James Howard Kunstler

City on a Hill: Urban Idealism in America from the Puritans to the Present, Alex Krieger, Harvard University Press, 412 pages.

The city is perhaps the greatest cultural artifact of the long-running human project, which now faces an array of predicaments at a larger scale than at any previous inflection point in our history. These include population overshoot, the fossil-fuel quandary, competition over dwindling resources, an unsound banking system, climate uncertainty, and much more. These dynamics are expressing themselves currently in political disorders and cultural hysterias, and the anxiety over what happens next appears to be driving us crazy.


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