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The Life of Jane Jacobs (Alfred A. Knopf), by Robert Kanigel

Nov. 29, 2016
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In a time when women were expected to be quiet, and when “urban renewal” was turning cities into wastelands, Jane Jacobs was a loud voice calling for historic preservation. Jacobs extolled urban environments as lively spaces for people to inhabit, not cold abstractions mapped out on graph paper. Her book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), was a trumpet blast that continues to reverberate. Robert Kanigel’s biography emphasizes Jacob’s roots in progressive politics, her distrust of soulless experts and her realization that cities should be organic, not, as she complained, based on “the logic of egocentric children, playing with pretty blocks and shouting, ‘See what I made!’” Cities, she believed, belong to those who live in them. 


The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear the case to determine if Wisconsin Republicans’ redistricting maps are too partisan. Do you believe the U.S. Supreme Court will order Wisconsin to redraw our legislative maps so the majority of legislative districts are competitive and voters will actually have a real choice between a Democrat and Republican?

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