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Abstract

Reviews of books by Anne Whiston Spirn, Jane Jacobs, George Gallup, Jr., Gary Gappert, and Richard V. Knight.

What all of these books have in common is the futuristic glimpse they give us into urban life in the twenty-first century. In approaching such a milestone, one can be either an optimist or a pessimist. These authors present a balanced mixture; they bring tidings of good news and bad news. As one of them aptly puts it: "In the present lies not only the nightmare of what the city will become if current trends continue, but also the dream of what the city could be." With this thought in mind, it behooves us to examine both the dream and the nightmare. It is the purpose of this essay to review these books for their substantive message and at least suggestively to evaluate their importance for tomorrow's world.

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