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May 01, 1938 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1938-05-01

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY SUNDAY, M

AY 1, 1938

MUMFOR
THE CULTURE OF CITIES, by Lewis
Tumford, Harcourt, Brace and
Company, New York, $5.
By ELLIOTT MARANISS
Mr. Mumford has accomplished
much more than a discussion of cities
a8d city culture. In depicting thel
fall and transformation of the
c.:: ?s of history, he'has portrayed
vh emotion the general miscarriage
ar d defeat of civilized efforts to co-
orcdinate essential human values with
t .e physical structures of communall
li He has written an analysis of.
t.e fundamentals of men's organized1
14ie which may prove as important
fcr the new biotechnic regime which.
h sees replacing the present preda-
tory and parasitic modes of life, as
t1- formulations of Da Vinci, Galileo,
Newton, Marx and Darwin are for,
t' mechanistic order

Accomplishes Monumental Work
- InPortrayalOfHistoryOf City.. .
peared. Characteristically, he again Western Civilization since the fif-
presents a multitudinous array of teenth century; Mr. Mumford finds
facts, but the significant meanings that mechanical integration and so-
he has clothed them with impressie- cial disruption have gone on side by
ly reminds us of our connection with! side. Our capacity for effective phys-
them. ical organization has enormously in-
I The city, as Mumford views it, is creased, but our efforts to create an
both a natural product, and, along harmonious counterpoise to these ex-
with language "man's greatestwrkternal linkages have failed, mainly
because of rampant, exploitive econ-
of art." It is a natural center for omies. The rising, bourgeoisie shat-
the transmission of goods, a focal tered the caste system of feudalism,
point for the economic activity of the and there ensued the baroque city,
countryside, and on that basis it be- "symbol of wealth and power." InX
comes "the point of maximum con- time the kings and palaces passed
centration for the culture and power away, and a "purely individualistic1
of a community," a place where ideas industrialism" built the mammothc
as well as goods are circulated, where cities of the nineteenth century, cha-
alternative modes of life are present- otic, inorganic, an "agglomeration ofY
ed and the dead hand of custom is the unrelated," a "savagely deter-
lifted. a "time-binding creation pre- lorated environment" wherein men
serving the past in its institutions compensate. for biological inferiorityI
and architecture" and yet also a "dy- by addiction to "the poison of vi-
namic nucleus of change" facing the carious vitality.",
future. I The megalopolitan city, as perhaps
Humanity is the keynote of Mum-. the paramount feature of modern civ-
ford's book: cities and .^ultures are iliaztion, is not merely the result ofs
judged in the light of the human the original social disruption by ex-s
values they have realized or sacri- ploitation, but also the accumulationa
fied. The medieval town is the rar- of the physical and social effects of
est approach which man has y,:t made that disruption: ravaged landscapes,
to an exercise of the city's ideal func- disorderly urban districts, pockets of
tion while the modern industrial 4disease, patches of blight, mile upon
megalopolis represents the furthest , mile of standardized slums. Yet Mum-a
departure. ford, equally familiar . with thea
Looking back over the course of I Utopias of idealists and the militantlyp
___________________________ scientific social creeds, has concluded
_ that the first line of attack against
Megalopolis is in Megalopolis. If the
'ascist Ted"ta
asust 'rendcity is the foremost expression of the
Trend{'dominant forces in fny human cul-
Lb .iture there can be no escaping to the
mrnerican Liberties ivory towers or any fleeing to the
countryside.
There is something that can be

As in his previous book, Technics
a,"'Civilization, a masterly and
ir any-sided evaluation of the ma-
c!:ne, Mumford has drawn on his'
unusual knowledge in many fields,
a: ., science, sociology and philosophy,
tk create a synthesis. The Culture of:
C4ies, however, is infused with a
w :mth that should satisfactorily
a: wer the charges that there is
Sc ,ething machine-like in his work.!
Te occasional neologism* which dot-
te:I his former books have disap-

Seldes Pictures F
Threatening A

Y ,U CAN'T DO THAT. By George ti-fascist and pro-democratic litera-
Seldss. Modern Age Books. 50 ture. More than that, his book takes1
:ents. on the character of a Great Americanc
By STOWELL EDWARDS Manual for the defense of our libertyI
and security, a guide book for a broadf
When a steeled and fearless report- democratic front of Americans.
or like George Seldes, with exper- Seldes' choice of Abraham Lincoln's r
ie. ces in Fascist Italy and a vast fa- great prophesy is in itself an indica-t
m .iarity with the operations of Hit- tion of this ace reporter's clear per-t
le ysm, writes a book to prove that ception of the trend in American life.
Am.erica is being robbed of its liberty Lincoln said, "I see in the near futurer
one. can be sure that he is getting the a crisis approaching that unnerves me
truth, written forcefully and inde- and causes me to tremble for the safe- c
perdeptly. Especially when he ad- ty of my country . . .
dq ues anew, and imposing list of facts "Corporations have been enthroned,
and direct statements 'to prove his an era of corruption in high places'
ca e does it become abundantly clear will follow, and the money power oft
that the machinations of big business the country will endeavor to pro-
a> directed at making a mere scrap of long its reign by working upon the
p :er of the Bill of Rights. Not too prejudices of the people until the
startling is the fact that the mighty wealth is aggregated in a few hands, n
groups of capital interests, most vo- and the Republic is destroyed."i
cSferous in their avowed allegiance to
the Constitution, are the most active
and powerful in efforts to undermine
vny dear sections of the historical
document. The interests of big busi-_
ne ss are unswervingly intent on trad-
ing the American peopl's liberties SERVAMUS-FJDEH
for the fascist pattern. MARICHAND
Divided into four sections, this val-
uable handbook for all who are inter-
ested in actively maintaining our
constitutional liberties reports the
most hoirible of the offenses against
the Bill of Rights in addition to the
most ordinary decencies of human
lifu . In the second section Seldes
nwmes names. The perpetrators and
ex cutors of these criminal deeds are
big business and its conglomeration of
super-patriots, "goon" squads armed
to the teeth, crackpot economic and ,FU R Y A
social theorists, and newspapers and
public officials in their direct em-
ployment.
Clever chapter titles are a fine in-
dication of the wealth of vital infor-
mation in this book which due to its
low price is within the reach of mil-
lions of people. Here are a few:. Law-C m l t I
less Enforcers of the Law, When Blood
Is Their Argument, Chamber of Com- CLEAN ED
mercial Patriots, The Press versus'
The People, The Fascist Pattern: Men, GLAZED/
The Fascist Pattern: Guns, and The STORED
Fascist Pattern: Money.
In these last three chapters Seldes I NSU RED
makes the freshest and hby far the,
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done about Megalopolis. The hope
lies in the fact that this is a world
of change; nothing is permanent, es-
pecially not, Mumford holds, the
frozen images of barbaric power with
which fascism now confronts us. If
nothing endures except life, the way
to build new cities, to get cities in
the finer sense, we need a new kind
of civilization. On this postulate-dy-
namic change of the bases of society
hangs Mr. Mumford's elaboration
of cities as centers of natural regions,
of a complementary diffusion and
centralization that comes out of real
cultural needs, of a "humanity-cen-
tered" society.
PROF. KNUDSON IN CHICAGO
Prof. C. A. Knudson of the depart-
ment of romance languages is spend-
ng this week-end in Chicago,
4 DE'S c
ULT
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t Fall
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mer Prices
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TT71rr-~r-N~r' jthe processes of heredity, written with ___
IT1.h LJLI-\..N1J the characteristic lucidity of the Hal-
HFILDANE
dane literary style, he then progresses
on this factual basis to a maore inter-
Discussion Of Practical! :sting and vital discussion of eugenics
Eugenics Proves 'and the race problem.
Valuable He stresses the difficulty of bear-L
ing out any contention of race su-
HEREDITY AND POLITICS, J.B.S. periority because of the lack of any, l
Haldane, 1938, W. W. Norton and environmental constant that will per- ' rAll early spring
Co.. New York City. $2.50. mit a legitimate comparison. Less I,
reserved concerning the Nazi concept \ hats at half price.
By DENNIS FLANAGAN j of Nordic and "Aryan" dominance, he
J.B.S. Haldane, probable best refers to it thus: "The pure NordicBla kn
known among England's li~ometrists ( race of the past is at worst a myth, B aC , n vy, w ne,
and geneticists, has made at least a at best a deduction from inadequate .A br xr
partial step toward a crystallization evidence." He is at his bitter, sardonic =nd rOL+J. .
and consolidation of his series of best when he comments on the "eu-
genic" theory of Major Eric Suchs-... ALL HEADIZES
lectures and theses in a field too,sel- land, of the German Air Force:
dom entered by ordinary research that "the eugenic effect of air war-
workers: the relation of the study of 1 fare is apparent for the following
heredity to the forces behind the reasons: (1) bombing will be concen-
genesis of man and the races of man. trated on regions where the popula-
Though written for lay consumption, tion is densest, poorest, and hence I "Hats That Are Different"
Heredity and Politics cannot be most undesirable eugenically; (2)
classed as a science popularization of during air raids thieves. will tend to 227 South State Street Phone 2-1416
the Logan Clendening type, but rath- come out, as well as anti-Fascists and
er as a careful and scholarly effort other genetically undesirable ele-
to acquaint the layman with the ments intending to foment disorder;
simple mechanics of a natural system (3) genetically inferior people will
so frequently abused by eugenicists manifest previously latent nervous
and fake theoreticians. and mental diseases, and thus be less
Here he discusses principally the likely to reproduce their kind . . . I EW RO CKS O F
immediate problems of geneticists, cannot find this paper at all hu-
notably the sterilization of defectives morous because I have seen its prin-
and the theories of race superiority ciples applied by German airmen to M PO RTED IRISH LIN EN
and differences. Devoting the first the improvement of the Spanish
part of his book to an explanation of race."
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