5 thoughts on “Emerald City

  1. I approached Emerald City as a sort of Northwest version of William Cronon’s Nature’s Metropolis. I suppose he’s good, then, at crafting an environmental history of the region, tracing the ways in which the city achieved the shape and environment it possesses today.

    On the other hand, he seems to ignore the relationship between the city itself and its hinterlands, the relationship between vested business interests, and the effects of Seattle’s environmental situation on ordinary people (other tha

  2. While this book promises to do a lot in the beginning, it is in many ways unable to deliver everything. I guess I should have trusted the subtitle more than the opening line (thought the final sentence remains true for me): “This is a book about a particular place, but it is also about ideas that make and sustain all places. It is also a history with its own history. The ending did not turn out as I expected” (xi).

    Having just visited Seattle for the first time last month, I was pretty excited to

  3. I don’t usually give up on books, but I really thought I was going to be into this and it just didn’t happen. Maybe I should revisit it another time. Chapter two was just this endless parade of fights over where to put canals and railways in the late 19th century. I think my main problem though, was that Klingle starts the book by calling for a “new ethic of place” and then he spends the whole conclusion also writing about this “new ethic of place” and I have no idea what he is talking about. Wh

  4. If you love Seattle, or just live there, or just imagine it as that faraway place where the mountains are close, and the parks are green, and somehow you can drive a Subaru carefree from office to trailhead, this book will help you see how problematic that vision of the city is. I lived in Seattle for 5 years, always thinking it was some special providence, or enlightened planning that had made a city where (no joke) my neighbours could hem and haw about whether to go downtown for DayGlo revival

  5. I came into this book expecting a lurid tale of how the man utterly destroyed the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Klingle’s actual narrative is much more complex, as issues often tend to be when deeply analyzed. He attempts to tell the history of Seattleites’ changing relationship with nature: as something to be dominated by explorers, improved upon in the progressive era, and finally idealized and worshiped in the last half of the 20th century. The tone is very scholarly and my attenti

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