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Power in Stone: Cities as Symbols of Empire
by Geoffrey Parker
Reaktion Books, 2014
Cloth: 978-1-78023-286-7 | eISBN: 978-1-78023-326-0

From ancient Persia to the Third Reich, imperial powers have built cities in their image, seeking to reflect their power and influence through a show of magnificence and a reflection of their values. Statues, pictures, temples, palaces—all combine to produce the necessary justification for the wielding of power while intimidating opponents. In Power in Stone, Geoffrey Parker traces the very nature of power through history by exploring the structural symbolism of these cities.
Traveling from Persepolis to Constantinople, Saint Petersburg to Beijing and Delhi, Parker considers how these structures and monuments were brought together to make the most powerful statement and how that power was wielded to the greatest advantage. He examines imperial leaders, their architects, and their engineers to create a new understanding of the relationship among buildings, design, and power. He concludes with a look at the changing nature of power in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries and the way this is reflected symbolically in contemporary buildings and urban plans. With illuminating images, Power in Stone is a fascinating history of some of the world’s most intriguing cities, past and present.

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