The Sphinx in the City: Urban Life, the Control of Disorder, and Women
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Sphinx in the City: Urban Life, the Control of Disorder, and Women

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  27 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Elizabeth Wilson's elegant, provocative, and scholarly study uses fiction, essays, film, and art, as well as history and sociology, to look at some of the world's greatest cities—London, Paris, Moscow, New York, Chicago, Lusaka, and São Paulo—and presents a powerful critique of utopian planning, anti-urbanism, postmodernism, and traditional architecture. For women the city...more
Paperback, 191 pages
Published March 10th 1992 by University of California Press (first published February 9th 1992)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 70)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Anna
I wish I’d had access to this book when I was writing my undergraduate dissertation, seven years ago. It has very interesting things to say about utopianism within planning and the model industrial town movement, which was my dissertation topic. Better late than never, though. ‘Sphinx in the City’ is a wide-ranging and accessibly written study of women’s place in the city over time and in different countries. Of particular note, it conveys an intersectional feminism. Women are not considered to...more
Angela
I'm having a hard time coming up with a concise review of this book. Mostly I see this as a starting point - thanks to this book I now have a bunch of little scribbled notes with quotes I like, concepts to investigate further, other authors and books to read. One of those quotes from the concluding chapter, which gives an idea of the author's viewpoint:

"We will never solve the problems of cities unless we like the urban-ness of urban life. Cities aren't villages; they aren't machines; they aren'...more
Killian Walsh
Wilson offers some keen insight into the character and design of urban spaces, but she too often digresses into polemic, or allows her subject matter to be overrun with hyperbole and a generally reductive feminist extremism. This oftentimes startling change of gears hampers an otherwise compelling look into the role of women in urban development, and forces the work to become little more than a biased rant.
Candy Wood
Elizabeth Wilson's city is London, but she also considers other major Western cities and some in Latin America and Africa as well. She notes that modernist women writers like Virginia Woolf and Dorothy Richardson liked cities, not finding them as threatening and alienating as many of their male contemporaries. She concludes that cities should celebrate diversity "for all, not just the few."
Bimo Hernowo
Bimo Hernowo marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2014
K.O.
K.O. marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2014
Courtney E. Smith
Courtney E. Smith marked it as to-read
Jun 05, 2014
Elina Kask
Elina Kask marked it as to-read
May 14, 2014
Kadri
Kadri added it
May 11, 2014
shapeshifting
shapeshifting marked it as to-read
Mar 06, 2014
Namrata
Namrata marked it as to-read
Feb 10, 2014
Dani
Dani marked it as to-read
Jan 13, 2014
Emily
Emily marked it as to-read
Jan 06, 2014
Geetika Rathee
Geetika Rathee marked it as to-read
Nov 20, 2013
Hgiyom
Hgiyom marked it as to-read
Nov 09, 2013
Jamal Abdul
Jamal Abdul marked it as to-read
Oct 03, 2013
Howard
Howard marked it as to-read
Sep 25, 2013
Courtney
Courtney marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2013
Emilie
Emilie added it
Aug 21, 2013
Hortense
Hortense marked it as to-read
Jun 07, 2013
Saroj
Saroj marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2013
Maureen Kentoff
Maureen Kentoff marked it as to-read
Mar 01, 2013
Mike Sanders
Mike Sanders marked it as to-read
Feb 28, 2013
Ritika
Ritika marked it as to-read
Nov 26, 2012
Chad Hall
Chad Hall marked it as to-read
Aug 26, 2012
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Elizabeth Wilson is the CEO and President of EW & Associates, Inc. Her management portfolio with exceeds over two million dollars to develop small businesses and includes initiatives funded by the Ebay Foundation, Hewlett Packard Philanthropy and the Prudential Foundation.\r
\r
Elizabeth is a true expert in low and moderate community economic development. Since 1996, she has provided professiona...more
More about Elizabeth Wilson...
Stress-Proof Your Life: 52 Brilliant Ideas for Taking Control Shostakovich: A Life Remembered Adorned in Dreams: Fashion and Modernity War Damage Jacqueline Du Pre: Her Life, Her Music, Her Legend

Share This Book

“We who live here wear this corner of the city like a comfortable old coat, an extension of our personalities, threadbare yet retaining a beauty of its own.” 2 likes
“We will never solve the problems of cities unless we like the urban-ness of urban life. Cities aren't villages; they aren't machines; they aren't works of art; and they aren't telecommunications stations. They are spaces for face to face contact of amazing variety and richness. They are spectacle - and what is wrong with that?” 1 likes
More quotes…