"I picked up a New York City paper one morning recently and was appalled by the space and emphasis given to an obscure assistant professor with no record of administration, who, enjoying a foundation grant and speaking for a regional civic organization, prophesied imminent chaos and the early disintegration of our metropolis... One of the most-quoted Jeremiahs who inveigh against the condition of our cities is Lewis Mumford, author of The City in History. He is widely acclaimed in the academic world. I object to these Jeremiahs primarily because they attempt to poison a rising generation of ordinarily optimistic young Americans. There is another good reason for deprecating this school of thought: those who undermine the very foundations and raison d'etre of cities, and not merely the incidental mistakes of individuals, make municipal administration increasingly unattractive and relegate it finally to the lowest politics and the poorest talent."
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