From the Sunday Times bestselling author, a dazzling, globe-spanning history of humankind's greatest invention: the city.
'Brilliant...enchanting' Evening Standard 'Exhilarating' New York Times
The story of the city is the story of civilisation. From Uruk and Babylon to Baghdad and Venice, and on to London, New York, Shanghai and Lagos, Ben Wilson takes us through millennia on a thrilling global tour of the key urban centres of history.
Rich with individual characters, scenes and snapshots of daily life, Metropolis is at once the story of these extraordinary places and of the vital role they have played in making us who we are.
'Panoramic...entertaining and rich in wondrous detail' Tom Holland
'A towering achievement... Reading this book is like visiting an exhilarating city for the first time' Wall Street Journal
Brilliant... Enchanting... This is a history of the world told through its most buccaneering units... And it is full of quirky facts about London.
Compendious and fascinating... Metropolis is crammed with local colour; and what gives the historical schema its real flavour is the deviations it allows... It makes you understand why we opted for cities in the first place, and why, despite the doom and gloom, I doubt we will be quitting them any time soon.
Wilson [is] an erudite, creative guide to the history of civilization through its great urban areas... He broadens the book's focus beyond the usual Western suspects... An excellent account.
Wilson sets out to match Mumford's sweep in Metropolis, and he brilliantly synthesises the forces that make cities hum.
Capacious, entertaining and rich in wondrous detail, this is a work of history that pulls of the startling feat of measuring up to the immensity of its subject matter.