Described as ""an attack of current city planning and rebuilding"", this book by a noted architectural writer and editor of Architectural Forum makes required reading for anyone concerned with the plight of American urban decay today. Mrs. Jacobs, central figure of a current and much-publicized fight to prevent the demolition of an historic area of Greenwich Village in New York City, is a staunch opponent of the big project, the ""slum clearance"" operation which leaves a neighhood without character or cohesion. She claims there is no relationship between good housing and a low crime rate. She calls for renewal of old buildings without evictions, instead of mass demolitions. She calls for a return to city life, instead of the decentralization which has produced our mindless, cultureless, sprawling suburbs. In short, she fights for the humanizing forces produced by a democratic balance of all classes within one urban community. Many extremist arguments, but all presented with wit, sympathy, and fine writing skill. An urgent comment which should not be missed.