Labour Research April 2012


Rebel cities

From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution

David Harvey, Verso Books, hardback, 112 pages, £9.99

From the author of The enigma of capital, we have this new book looking at the role of cities in the modern age.

Long before the Occupy movement, modern cities had already become the central sites of revolutionary politics, where the deeper currents of social and political change rise to the surface.

Consequently, they have been the subject of much utopian thinking about alternatives.

But at the same time, they are also the centres of capital accumulation, and therefore the frontline for struggles over who has the right to the city, and who dictates the quality and organisation of daily life.

Is it the developers and financiers, or the people? This book places the city at the heart of both capital and class struggles, looking at locations from Johannesburg to Mumbai, and from New York City to São Paulo.

Drawing on the Paris Commune as well as Occupy Wall Street and the London riots, David Harvey explores how cities might be reorganised in more socially just and ecologically sane ways, and argues that they can become the focus for anti-capitalist resistance.

Reviews contributed by the Bookmarks socialist bookshop. Order online at