This short documentary is part of a series hosted by American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and literary critic Lewis Mumford, who was particularly noted for his study of cities and urban architecture. In this episode, Mumford meditates on the “ugly and savagely debased surroundings” of the industrial cities that sprung up in formerly empty rural areas during the Industrial Revolution. Mumford juxtaposes the squalor of the working poor with the relative safety and security of the wealthy. He asks what can be done to address “the spirit of social hopelessness” that thrives in the overcrowded slums where a city’s poorest residents live.
Lewis Mumford on the City, Part 5: The City as Man's Home, Mogens Gander, Jacques Giraldeau, Robert Humble, Kirk Jones, Ian MacNeill, Terence Macartney-Filgate & Reginald Morris, provided by the National Film Board of Canada