Episode from the podcastChatChat - Claudia Cragg

Catie Marron's Philosophy and Purpose in the Literature of 'City Squares'

Released Thursday, 28th April 2016
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KGNU's Claudia Cragg speaks here with
Catie Marron about her second book, 'City Squares: "City
Squares: Eighteen Writers on the Spirit and Significance of Squares
Around the World".
In this important collection,
eighteen renowned writers, including David Remnick, Zadie Smith,
Rebecca Skloot, Rory Stewart, and Adam Gopnik evoke the spirit and
history of some of the world’s most recognized and significant city
squares, accompanied by illustrations from equally distinguished
Over half of the world’s citizens
now live in cities, and this number is rapidly growing. At the
heart of these municipalities is the square—the defining urban
public space since the dawn of democracy in Ancient Greece. Each
square stands for a larger theme in history: cultural,
geopolitical, anthropological, or architectural, and each of the
eighteen luminary writers has contributed his or her own innate
talent, prodigious research, and local knowledge.
Divided into three parts:
Culture, Geopolitics, History, headlined by Michael Kimmelman,
David Remnick, and George Packer, this significant anthology shows
the city square in new light. Jehane Noujaim, award-winning
filmmaker, takes the reader through her return to Tahrir Square
during the 2011 protest; Rory Stewart, diplomat and author,
chronicles a square in Kabul which has come and gone several times
over five centuries; Ari Shavit describes the dramatic changes of
central Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square; Rick Stengel, editor, author, and
journalist, recounts the power of Mandela’s choice of the Grand
Parade, Cape Town, a huge market square to speak to the world right
after his release from twenty-seven years in prison; while
award-winning journalist Gillian Tett explores the concept of the
virtual square in the age of social media.
This collection is an important
lesson in history, a portrait of the world we live in today, as
well as an exercise in thinking about the future. Evocative and
compelling, City Squares will change the way you walk
through a city.

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17m 2s

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