Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Walkers, Voyeurs, and the Politics of Urban Space (Special Issue of Radical History Review) [also] edited by Daniel J Walkowitz and Robin Autry from Duke University Press:
As an angry pedestrian, I was predisposed to enjoy this number of Radical History Review. For most of my adult life, I have lived in cities where I have had other priorities than car ownership, and I genuinely like to walk. But I resent the car-centered culture that makes it difficult and declasse to use human locomotion, at the same time as it strangles itself in pollution, impervious cover, violent collisions, and “traffic.” I have lived in a time when US cars have gotten bigger and stupider. I salute Hummers and spit on cars that stop athwart crosswalks.
These specific “negative” concerns of mine are only addressed in a couple of the features in the book (Schmucki’s “Against ‘the Eviction of the Pedestrian'” and the compound review “Traffic Logic and Political Logic” by Mitchell). But the entire volume is full of interesting material regarding the values and potentials of pedestrian society. The scope is decidedly international, with articles about the US, Ukraine, France, Guatemala, Germany, Australia, and Britain.
The “Teaching Radical History” article (Rubin on Situationist derive) was especially interesting to me in terms of practical utility (I think there’s an irony there), while Giloi’s study of German teen socialization at the turn of the 20th century offered some of the most lucid theoretical applications. [via]
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