City Squares: Eighteen Writers on the Spirit and Significance of Squares Around the World

Edited by Catie Marron. Harper, $32.50 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-238020-3
Marron, chairman of the board of directors of Friends of the High Line and a contributing editor for Vogue, brings together essays from 18 eminent writers that explore the culture, geopolitics, and history of world-famous city squares. New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik narrates the history of Place des Vosges in Paris, conceived as a manufacturing center by Henri IV and later home to poet and novelists Victor Hugo and the protagonist in Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret novels. Journalist Anne Applebaum traces the significance of Russia’s Red Square, a constant “place of political theater.” Moving through London, historian Andrew Roberts draws from the work and lives of William Hogarth, Charles Dickens, and Virginia Woolf. Filmmaker Jehane Noujaim provides an on-the-ground report from Tahir Square in Cairo amid the 2011 Arab Spring revolution, and journalist Richard Stengel recalls Nelson Mandela’s legendary speech at Cape Town’s Grand Parade after his release from prison. The essays and their accompanying photography interact with one another, constructing a cross-cultural narrative of diverse societal interaction and activism that culminates in journalist Gillian Tett’s forward-looking consideration of the “Virtual Square.” Photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/15/2016
Release date: 04/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-238021-0
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