Metropolis Berlin: 1880-1940 reconstitutes the built environment of Berlin during the period of its classical modernity using over two hundred contemporary texts, virtually all of which are published in English translation for the first time. They are from the pens of those who created Berlin as one of the world’s great cities and those who observed this process: architects, city planners, sociologists, political theorists, historians, cultural critics, novelists, essayists, and journalists. Divided into nineteen sections, each prefaced by an introductory essay, the account unfolds chronologically, with the particular structural concerns of the moment addressed in sequence—be they department stores in 1900, housing in the 1920s, or parade grounds in 1940.
Metropolis Berlin: 1880-1940 not only details the construction of Berlin, but explores homes and workplaces, public spaces, circulation, commerce, and leisure in the German metropolis as seen through the eyes of all social classes, from the humblest inhabitants of the city slums, to the great visionaries of the modern city, and the demented dictator resolved to remodel Berlin as Germania.
Iain Boyd Whyte is Professor of Architectural History at the University of Edinburgh and author of Manmade Future (Routledge, 2007). David Frisby was Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and author of Cityscapes of Modernity: Critical Explorations (Cambridge, 2001).