Jacobs was a writer, activist, and visionary whose work had a profound effect on the way we look at the urban areas around us. She was considered an outcast in the male-dominated world of urban planning, yet her book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, remains a seminal text in this field. One of the great joys of this book is that Jacobs is not an academic, but rather a committed city dweller who obliviously derives much pleasure from living in an urban landscape. Her writing is insightful, honest, unpretentious, and eye-opening. The enthusiasm Jacobs feels for our cities is contagious and shines through on every page of this classic. –Shawn D.