Metromarxism: A Marxist Tale of the City

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2002-08-16
  • Publisher: Routledge

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This highly accessible account of Marxism and the city covers their relationship from the 1850s to the present through biographical chapters on eight towering figures in the Marxist tradition - Marx, Engels, Walter Benjamin, Henri Lefebvre, Guy Debord, Manuel Castells, David Harvey, and Marshall Berman. Each chapter combines interesting biographical anecdotes with a readable analysis of each individual's contribution to the evolving Marxist theory of the city. Merrifield highlights the dialectical nature of the modern city in both its industrial and post-industrial phases. Cities are the places where capital organizes itself and inequality is most intense, but also where the potential for progressive change is most real. The interplay between these two forces, he demonstrates, has produced a major corpus of work that both takes stock of the capitalist city and attempts to advance progressive social transformations. Merrifield emphasizes the cultural, aesthetic side of the Marxist urban tradition inparticular. He situates his subject in the streets of the city, showing how the theorists he examines fed off the energy and dialectical tension there. The resulting book is the most engaging and optimistic study of the topic available and will enlighten interested readers at many levels.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction 1(12)
Commodities and Cities, with Sober Senses
Karl Marx
Backstreet Boy in Manchester
Frederick Engels
The City of Profane Illumination
Walter Benjamin
The Urban Revolution
Henri Lefebvre
The City of Marx and Coca-Cola
Guy Debord
The City of Althusser and Social Movements
Manuel Castells
The Geopolitics of Urbanization
David Harvey
A Marxist Urban Romance
Marshall Berman
Afterword 175(10)
Notes 185(22)
Index 207

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