Search our site
The Heart of Mars by Paul Magrs Read the opening extract of the brand new Paul Magrs book before its publication on 15/03/2018

City Squares Eighteen Writers on the Spirit and Significance of Squares Around the World by Catie Marron

City Squares Eighteen Writers on the Spirit and Significance of Squares Around the World

The Real World   Biography / Autobiography   eBook Favourites   

Lovereading view...

In this important collection, eighteen renowned writers, including David Remnick, Zadie Smith, Rebecca Skloot, Rory Stewart, and Adam Gopnik evoke the spirit and history of some of the world's most recognized and significant city squares, accompanied by illustrations from equally distinguished photographers.


City Squares Eighteen Writers on the Spirit and Significance of Squares Around the World by Catie Marron

Over half of the world's citizens now live in cities, and this number is rapidly growing. At the heart of these municipalities is the square-the defining urban public space since the dawn of democracy in Ancient Greece. Each square stands for a larger theme in history: cultural, geopolitical, anthropological, or architectural, and each of the eighteen luminary writers has contributed his or her own innate talent, prodigious research, and local knowledge. Divided into three parts: Culture, Geopolitics, History, headlined by Michael Kimmelman, David Remnick, and George Packer, this significant anthology shows the city square in new light. Jehane Noujaim, award-winning filmmaker, takes the reader through her return to Tahrir Square during the 2011 protest; Rory Stewart, diplomat and author, chronicles a square in Kabul which has come and gone several times over five centuries; Ari Shavit describes the dramatic changes of central Tel Aviv's Rabin Square; Rick Stengel, editor, author, and journalist, recounts the power of Mandela's choice of the Grand Parade, Cape Town, a huge market square to speak to the world right after his release from twenty-seven years in prison; while award-winning journalist Gillian Tett explores the concept of the virtual square in the age of social media. This collection is an important lesson in history, a portrait of the world we live in today, as well as an exercise in thinking about the future. Evocative and compelling, City Squares will change the way you walk through a city. Contributors include: David Adjaye on Jemma e-Fnna, Marrakech * Anne Applebaum on Red Square, Moscow and Grand Market Square, Krakow * Chrystia Freeland on Euromaiden, Kiev * Adam Gopnik on Place des Vosges, Paris * Alma Guillermoprieto on Zocalo, Mexico City * Jehane Noujaim on Tahrir Square, Cairo * Evan Osnos on Tiananmen Square, Beijing * Andrew Roberts on Residential Squares, London * Elif Shafak on Taksim Square, Istanbul * Rebecca Skloot on American Town Squares * Ari Shavit on Rabin Square, Tel Aviv * Zadie Smith on the grand piazzas of Rome and Venice * Richard Stengel on Market Square, Grand Parade, Cape Town * Rory Stewart on Murad Khane, Kabul * Plus contributions by Gillian Tett, George Packer, David Remnick, and Michael Kimmelman; illustrations and photographs from renowned photographers, including: Thomas Struth, Philip Lorca di Corcia, and Josef Koudelka


'Catie Marron has done a splendid job of bringing together some of the smartest voices to reflect on some of the most beautiful or important or intriguing public spaces in the world. The result is itself magical.' -- Fareed Zakaria, In Defense of A Liberal Education

'City Squares is a beautiful and haunting collection of essays by some of the finest writers of today. Each chapter is a jewel in itself. Taken together, however, these essays demonstrate the endurance of the human spirit in the spaces and squares of public life.' -- Dr. Amanda Foreman, historian and author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire and A World on Fire

'Savor many of the world's most important writers on many of the world's most important places-city squares that incubate and animate democracy, culture and the human spirit. I love learning about how the personal stories of writers I admire intersect with history and urban life.' -- Jonathan Alter, journalist and New York Times bestselling author

'The essays and their accompanying photography interact with one another, constructing a cross-cultural narrative of diverse societal interaction and activism.' -- Publishers Weekly

'[A] brilliant anthology of essays celebrating the city square...which travelers invariably find indispensable as starting, ending, or gathering points.' -- National Geographic

About the Author

Catie Marron, whose career has encompassed investment banking, magazine journalism, and public service, is currently chairman of the board of directors of Friends of the High Line; a trustee of the New York Public Library, where she was chairman of the board for seven years; and a contributing editor to Vogue. Also the editor of City Parks, Marron lives in New York City with her family.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

26th April 2016


Catie Marron

More books by Catie Marron
Author 'Like for Like'


Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Inc


304 pages


The Real World
Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites

Places & peoples: general & pictorial works
Urban communities



It has enriched my leisure time by introducing me to a world of books which I would not have previously considered.

Val Rowe

I love the honest opinions, recommendations for every genre and every reader, wish lists and Like for Like.

Amrita Dasgupta

I love the newsletter with reviews of all the new books coming out. Can't wait to open it when it arrives in my inbox.

Rachel Aygin

Lovereading is not only an amazing site, but it's one of my very favourites. It's like visiting a fascinating bookstore, but better.

Rebecca Jayne Barrett

Love Reading - it not only does what it says on the tin, it does it with Jam on!!

Maz Tucker

Lovereading has given me the opportunity to delve into new and exciting worlds of authors who I would never have tried before.

Glynis Elliott

Love books. Love reading. Love reading books. And, here's the trick. Here's a website which caters for people like me.

Ian Harvey-brown

For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore