June 24, 2020

Review: Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization by Richard Sennett. Richard Brilliant. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. Richard Sennett. · Rating details · ratings · 19 reviews. Flesh and Stone is the story of the deepest parts of life—how women and men moved in public. Flesh and Stone is a history of the city in Western civilization, one that tells the story of urban life through bodily experience. It recounts how women and men.

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This vivid history of the city in Western civilization tells the story of urban life through bodily experience. A compassionate and inquiring [book]. Sennett writes with intelligence and grace. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? Foesh you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Early in Flesh and StoneRichard Sennett probes the ways in which the ancient Athenians experienced nakedness, and the relation of nakedness to the shape of the ancient city, its troubled politics, and the inequalities between men and women.

The story then moves to Rome in the time of the Emperor Hadrian, exploring Roman beliefs in the geometrical perfection of the body. The final part of Flesh and Stone deals with what happened to urban space as modern scientific understanding of the body cut free from pagan and Christian beliefs. Flesh and Stone makes sense of our constantly evolving urban living spaces, helping us to build a common home for the increased diversity of bodies that make up the modern city.

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Customers who senneht this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Ethics for the City. The Fall of Public Man. Two Essays on Exile. The Conscience of ricchard Eye: The Design and Social Life of Cities.

Flesh and Stone

Start reading Flesh and Stone on your Kindle in under a minute. Don’t have a Kindle? Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Showing of 7 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews.

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Not only I wennett the book on time, the book itself is enlightening! I can’t yet comment on the content of this book, but I have to say I am terribly disappointed to have in my hands a chintzy print-on-demand type volume instead of a well-printed book. The text is all thick and fuzzy, as if it had been photocopied several times, and the images are all grainy.

Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization

The cover, which seems to be a color-copy senett the original with a yucky lamination over it, feels awful. You are a major press and you owe it to your authors — senndtt readers — to do better than this.


One person found this helpful. Also his suggestive notes are helpful for my study. It’s an extraordinarily rich work, deep in scope, scholarly erudition and insight. Particularly fascinatiing is the third section where Sennett makes the case that “A new master image of the body took form” through the discoveries William Harvey made about the circulation of the blood, that “Harvey launched a scientific revolution in the understanding of the body: Sennett notes that Harvey’s discovery began a medical revolution, a “medical revolution [which] ricbard to have substituted health for morality as a standard of human happiness among those social engineers by motion and circulation” ibid.

Adam Smith took Harvey’s insight into the connection between freely circulating blood and health and used it to claim, according to Sennett, that the “free market of labor and goods operat[es] much like freely circulating blood within the body [and brought] similar life giving consequences” page Sennett goes on to say that a consequence of human mobility in abd service of economic circulation promoting human beings increasingly desensitized to richare environment, resulting in cities “which have succumbed to the dominant value of circulation” page On this last point, I’m reminded of Robert Moses’ destruction of the social fabric of neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens in order to move traffic around the New York metropolis.

The idea of freely circulating blood as promoter of good health richagd reflected then and now in urban designs where new “arteries” and “veins” were constructed for the free circulation of people and goods and waste, e.

Similarly, around the same time human skin was discovered to be instrumental in the circulation of air in the body. This resulted in more frequent bathing to open pores clotted with dirt, the loosening of clothing, and in terms of cities, the introduction of “lungs” in the form of parks and the paving and cleaning of city streets. If you have a worldview that has been forged and tempered in the fire of muti-directional, muti-disciplinary study, this book is not likely anf shatter or alter it in any way, as the tlesh reviewer claims.

It is a brief, pit-stoppy tour of some of the key cities of the West, coupled with sociologial descriptions of fleh behavior in them. The idea is that the conception of the body went hand-in-hand with the built environment, and vice versa.

Chicken and the sennnett. The historical tour does have some profitable moments: The Greeks thought men were men by virtue of having more body heat and thus it was a manly thing to wear as little as possible and hang out in the front part of the house where it was drafty, while the womenfolk with smaller fires in their bellies huddled to warmed themselves in the back.


Harvey’s discovery of rochard circulation becomes a city planning concept in the 19th century and revolutionizes urban space as our forebears we know it. The really interesting thing here is the physiological model that always looms in the metaphor of city as body.

The author, like many modern persons, gives you the impression that while the ancients had a great sense of space and community, they were off on their understanding of human physiology.

If only he were more familiar with the theoretical foundation of Chinese medicine! Perhaps then he would not think that the Greeks were so entirely wrong in their conjectures, even if they did not formulate them so clearly. The entire thesis of the book builds up to the assertion that we moderns are lost and have stoje idea what makes fleah a great city, by which he means a gathering of spaces that reflect and “celebrates” god, I hate that word used in that way!

Ajd this conclusion is not surprising since the stond entire oeuvre for the past 30 years has been centered around the very same idea of modern alienation and its causes.

So, read it for the tour, but don’t base your own conclusions on Sennett’s. The real value of the book lies in its introduction of topics that you’d do well to go research on your own elsewhere.

Especially good for undergrads under a good teacher.

Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization

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