Haffner elegantly elaborates on how the interpretation of the aerial view shifted from encapsulating "the humanistic, Enlightenment-inspired promise of global unity through technology" to symbolizing for Lefebvre and the French New Left colonialism "the 'spectacle' of capitalist consumerism, and the repressiveness of state-controlled urban planning" (109). She argues in her nuanced, rich, and elegantly written history that the distinction so often made between "'top-down' urban planning and its 'bottom-up' critique" simplifies a more complex story -- a story that can best be unraveled by an interdisciplinary approach. By offering such an interdisciplinary history, this book complements not only the literature on visual culture, the history of science, and French architectural, urban, and planning history, but also the work on individual thinkers such as Henri Lefebvre, and it will therefore prove valuable reading for scholars in all these fields. Journal of Modern History
About the Author
Jeanne Haffner is a Lecturer on the History of Science at Harvard University. Peter Galison is Pellegrino University Professor of the History of Science and of Physics at Harvard University. He is the author of Einstein's Clocks, Poincare's Maps: Empires of Time, How Experiments End, and Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics, among other books, and coeditor (with Emily Thompson) of The Architecture of Science (MIT Press, 1999).