Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism
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Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  10 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 385 pages
Published March 29th 2010 by Verso (first published October 30th 2009)
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Tombom P
The first 9 chapters are pretty excellent at detailing out the whole mess of militarisation and greater "security" and control, importantly covering cities outside the US and Europe, although maybe not enough and focusing almost entirely on those explicitly involved in wars.

My problems with the first 9 chapters are that the theory is not very well connected to the actual events. He quotes a lot of people who all use very different vocabulary to talk about the same things. Some of it is, quite f...more
Graham
It took far too long, but I finally got around to reading Stephen Graham's Cities Under Siege . In the end, I'm not entirely sure it was worth it.

Graham's book is sweeping in its generalizations, its implications, and its conclusions. It broadly traces the rise of the city in military and popular conception as a hotbed of vice and perversion, as a target for military operations, and as an increasingly oppressed environment for its citizens. Cities Under Siege is split into sections covering such...more
Andrea
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 separ...more
Sven Nomadsson
The New Military Urbanism is the subtitle of the latest work of Stephen Graham and if anyone has read Mike Davis, in particular Planet of Slums, then this is the perfect follow up. Urbanism, is the study of the developing urban space and militarism is the development of the what else – the military, so the subtitle expresses exactly what the book is about. While, the title is set to draw your attention and also underline the hypothesis that the author is presenting.

In this case, Stephen Graham i...more
Algernon
The scope of this book may in fact be too vast for many readers -- the information, observations, research, and studied opinions compiled here require slow and incremental examination.

As the world population concentrates rapidly into urban areas, there are corresponding escalations in how military doctrine and war planning incorporates urban zones, in both the "first" and "third" worlds. Involved in this are perceptions, some of them quite historic, about what cities are, and to do about the poo...more
Malte
I sometimes suspect that academics like Stephen Graham get paid by word or the number of references they are able to stuff into a book. Graham seems to actually have references the entire field of authors who ever commented anything on this subject. Which means the book is flooding with catchphrases, redundant quotes and tiring academic creditations. Sorry for ranting but this was such a major disturbance and makes me believe his project less. The last chapter was so weak and forcedly "Activism...more
Matthew Griffiths
An engaging discussion of the shift towards urban militarism in several fields. This was a very interesting read once you cut through a lot of the superfluities used which made this a lot more tedious at times than it needed to be. I would recommend this to anyone interested in urban geography or contemporary military issues but be wary that this is an overly academic work and not one for an easy read.
Ajk
This is pretty much my ideal non-fiction book. Graham has a solid thesis he's investigating; the militarization of urban life, and he pulls in lots of stories from all over the Earth in order to show what militarization looks in different contexts. Graham is more than a little angry, and he's calm enough to express his point very well also.

It's a very well-measured read through how cities are being reconstructed. He borrows a lot from Der Derian, Eyal Weziman, and Derek Gregory. In fact, my main...more
Lucas
This is one of the cleverest books I have read in a long time. I'll let the words of Mike Davis suffice here: "Roll over Jane Jacobs: here's urban geography as it through the eye of a Predator at 25,000 feet. A fundamental and very scary report from the global red zone." That sums up this book better than I ever could. If you want to read one important book to understand the contemporary world, this is it.
Richard
Aug 14, 2010 Richard marked it as to-read
Recommended to Richard by: Laurie Taylor/BBC's Thinking Allowed
Heard the author interviewed on the BBC programme/podcast "Thinking Allowed". Available for streaming here: Military Futurism.
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Stephen Graham is an academic and author who researches cities and urban life. He is Professor of Cities and Society at the Global Urban Research Unit and is based in Newcastle University's School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape.

Professor Graham has a background in Geography, Planning and the Sociology of Technology. His research centres, in particular, on:

•relations between cities, techn...more
More about Stephen Graham...
Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition Cities, War, and Terrorism: Towards an Urban Geopolitics Telecommunications and the City The Cybercities Reader A Private in the Guards

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