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Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism [Paperback]

Stephen Graham
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

14 Nov 2011
Cities are the new battleground of our increasingly urban world. From the slums of the global South to the wealthy financial centers of the West, Cities Under Siege traces the spread of political violence through the sites, spaces, infrastructure and symbols of the world s rapidly expanding metropolitan areas. Drawing on a wealth of original research, Stephen Graham shows how Western militaries and security forces now perceive all urban terrain as a conflict zone inhabited by lurking shadow enemies. Urban inhabitants have become targets that need to be continually tracked, scanned and controlled. Graham examines the transformation of Western armies into high-tech urban counter-insurgency forces. He looks at the militarization and surveillance of international borders, the use of security concerns to suppress democratic dissent, and the enacting of legislation to suspend civilian law. In doing so, he reveals how the New Military Urbanism permeates the entire fabric of urban life, from subway and transport networks hardwired with high-tech command and control systems to the insidious militarization of a popular culture corrupted by the all-pervasive discourse of terrorism.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (14 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844677621
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844677627
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 8.2 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 308,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Superb ... Graham builds on the writings of Mike Davis and Naomi Klein who have attempted to expose the hidden corporate and military structures behind everyday life. --Edwin Heathcote

Roll over Jane Jacobs: here s urban geography as it looks like through the eye of a Predator at 25,000 feet. A fundamental and very scary report from the global red zone. --Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums

A rigorously researched, pioneering book packed with disturbing and at times astonishing information. --Icon

About the Author

STEPHEN GRAHAM is Professor of Cities and Society at Newcastle University. He is the author or editor of Telecommunications and the City and Splintering Urbanism (both with Stephen Marvin), Cities, War and Terrorism and Disrupted Cities: When Infrastructures Fail.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An agonising read! 10 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to reading this exposition on the 'new military urbanism' on the recommendation of a friend, but what I found was disappointing to say the least. The first half of this book was an excruciating plough through a veritable swamp of post-post-modern verbiage, repetition, unforgivable errors and grammatical nonsense (Is proof-reading a dead art?). I would have thought, given the author's political leanings, that he would have aimed at as wide an audience as possible rather than burying any useful information under the inaccessible rubble of pointless academic theory, specious jargon and Americanisms worthy of G.W.Bush himself. For example,I have never heard the word 'carcerality' in my entire life, and frankly, I never hope to again. Apart from this pearl of gibberish, there is the question of the, seemingly unending, over-use of theoretical terms such as 'Othering', 'archipelago' and 'Bordering' (like the author was looking to score some points in the multiple use of conceptual terminology). I have rarely encountered a book so impossibly, and nigh-on impenetrably, written as this, almost as if he set out to sabotage his own work as he wrote, because his writing style seemed designed to put the reader off.

Concepts were lumped together in shopping list-type sentence structures over and over again, breaking any narrative flow that had been built up, jarring the reader with their frequency and their consequent annoyance factor. Such as-
'The second trend is the unprecedented extent to which the new military urbanism fuses and blurs civilian and military applications of the technologies for control, surveillance, communications, simulation and targeting'
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars War as it impacts daily life on both sides 28 Feb 2011
Massive in scope, impossibly frightening in its implications...and yet the seeds of resistance are here as well. From Iraq to NY, Gaza to London, this book looks at how war in all of its manifestations is increasingly becoming a part of everyday life through technology, rhetoric, policing and private security, advertising and still more. It ties this to the deeply inculcated binary of 'us' vs 'them' and increasing militarization of borders not only between countries, but within them in the separation of rich and poor, white from everyone else...And there's a whole section on robots. I won't say it's fun, but it is science fiction come to life. Cities Under Siege throws a lot at you, the language is rich and complex. While there is some repetition I think, it is a book absolutely worth reading. Though if you're like me you will feel a bit paranoid after.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Skip this if you are over 50 19 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sorry, I have no idea what this book is like, because it's published in a mega-unfriendly tiny print. I might have been able to read it 20 or 30 years ago, although even then it would have been hard work. Verso, consider your wrists slapped for wasting my money.
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