Novelist Shares His Thoughts On City Planning
"Steven Johnson has a knack for staying ahead of multiple curves at once. His books have been delighting literate technologists and geeky humanities majors ever since his 1997 "Interface Culture" -- one of the first and still best accounts of the cultural content of software design.
Johnson's latest book, "The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic --and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World," follows a doctor and a clergyman who teamed up in 1854 to figure out why cholera had ravaged their neighborhood. It rolls together a scientific exploration and a cultural exegesis, and, like Johnson's second book, "Emergence," it examines the city as organism. But unlike all his previous volumes, it's set in the past -- and it tells a story."
Thanks to Abby Lydon