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GENIUS OF COMMON SENSE by Glenna Lang

GENIUS OF COMMON SENSE

Jane Jacobs and the Story of The Death and Life of Great American Cities

By Glenna Lang (Author) , Marjory Wunsch (Author) , Glenna Lang (Illustrator) , Marjory Wunsch (Illustrator)

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: April 2nd, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-56792-384-1
Publisher: Godine

Jane Jacobs is an unlikely subject for a school assignment, which is unfortunate, as being required to do research would be the most likely way that many readers will discover this brief but comprehensive biography. A writer with varied experience, Jacobs brought a wealth of knowledge along with her personal convictions to her work as an activist and critic of the status quo. At a time when city planners were determined to conquer urban blight by destroying buildings and uprooting communities, Jacobs argued for a vision of cities as vibrant, functioning systems whose positive growth could be fostered. That she did so successfully without a degree and during the 1950s and ’60s, a time when women’s contributions were often overlooked, is impressive indeed. Better known in Canada, where she moved in 1968, Jacobs may be unfamiliar to many teens, but she is definitely worthy of their attention. Wunsch and Lang have done readers a service in introducing her so effectively, including black-and-white photos and drawings as well as diagrams to augment their text. Push during Women’s History Month and at every other opportunity. (Biography. 12 & up)