'Aesthetic philistinism with a vengeance'
over at AS
is running an interesting 'old books of the year' festival, partly to counter the usual 'best books of the year' features you see at this time of year. Considering recent talk about what to do with Boston's City Hall, a reader's recommendation
of Jane Jacobs' 'The Death and Life of Great American Cities' struck me as timely. Jacobs, who died earlier this year
, was way ahead of her time when she launched the 'first liberal attack on the liberal idea' that entire neighborhoods needed to be bulldozed to make way for urban renewal. Granted, it's unfair to blame the '50s urban-renewal movement entirely on liberals. It took two to tango. There was a lot of crony capitalism involved. Archive documents show the business community in Boston was a powerful partner and advocate of taking properties by eminent domain for redevelopment purposes. The result of both sides working in tandem: City Hall Plaza, the West End etc. ... Clive flags 'Naples '44'
as another recommended book. Sounds great. ... OK, I'll nevertheless offer up my two best local books of 2006: 'Brothers Bulger'