- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Cities and the Wealth of Nations: Principles of Economic Life Paperback – 12 Mar 1985
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Review Award for Non-Fiction"Learned, iconoclastic and exciting . . . Jacobs' diagnosis of the decay of cities in an increasingly integrated world economy is on the mark."--The New York Times Book Review
"Jacobs' book is inspired, idiosyncratic and personal . . . It is written with verve and humor; for a work of embattled theory, it is wonderfully concrete, and its leaps are breathtaking."--Los Angeles Times
"Not only comprehensible but entertaining. . . . Like Mrs. Jacobs' other books, it offers a concrete approach to an abstract and elusive subject. That, all by itself, makes for an intoxicating experience."--The New York Times
From the Back Cover
'Jacobs' book is inspired, idiosyncratic and personal... It is written with verve and humor; for a work of embattled theory, it is wonderfully concrete, and its leaps are breathtaking.' - Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times.See all Product description
Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Jane Jacobs was probably better placed to answer the Queen's question to the LSE than most 'professional' economists.
As the Brexit negotiations start this gives some very helpful hints of what should be happening but sadly is not.
The inherent energies (and traps) described in this book coupled with the urban planning views of her Death and Life book make her wisdom worth examining at any time.
An example of a key concept: import replacing, whereby a city imports (say) bicycles, leading to development of its own bicycle repair industry, thus gaining skills and component manufacturing in this area, and so going on to become a bicycle exporter in its own turn. In the meantime, the previous bicycle exporting city will (if it has a healthy, import-replacing economy) also have moved on to other, new activities by replacing an import of its own.
Jacobs uses concepts like this to explain, convincingly, facts as diverse as the poverty of the Tennessee Valley area at the time of the famous (and ineffective, according to Jacobs) TVA project, the rise of the Asian tiger economies, why many cities stagnate, and the apparently inevitable decline of great military/imperial powers.
If you've read Jane Jacobs' earlier book on this topic (The Economy of Cities), her main theses on city economies will be somewhat familiar, but this is possibly more accessible and up to date; if you're only going to read one of Jacobs' books, then make it this one. You might then, like me, go back and lay your hands on everything that she has written that is still in print. For anyone who has an interest in economics, she really is that good.
Contary to popular belief this notion of local as central to economic life is not opposed to glabalization. On the contrary it is opposed to the view that the nation state is central. Jacob's analysis explains economics as global network of independent local units. In this network each local unit will continuously adapt to the challenges and opportunities supplied by the needs and supplies of the other units.
Jacobs shows that only by being open to change, by being willing to adapt, by being willing to let old ways die oif they no longer serve their purpose can a city or an enterprise ensure its long term survival.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?