Professor Richard Sennett has spent an intellectual lifetime exploring how humans live in cities. In this pair of essays he explores displacement in the metropolis through two vibrant historical moments: mid-nineteenth-century Paris, with its community of political exiles, a place where ‘you look in the mirror and see someone who is not yourself’; and Renaissance Venice, where state-imposed restrictions on ‘outsider’ groups – including prostitutes as well as Jews – had some surprising cultural consequences.
The paperback edition of The Foreigner contains a NEW introduction by the author, highlighting the historical parallels between exiles of the past and present.
‘Making sense of displacement, of one’s self-foreignness, is the great inner drama of cities today. For this reason, I hope that the painful work of self-knowledge done by our ancestors will help illuminate the present.’ – Richard Sennett
‘…there is a hunger out there for the informed, exploratory, and in some ways gentle anti-capitalism that Sennett represents.’ – The Guardian
Richard Sennett is one of the most distinguished social thinkers in the world today. Born in Chicago in 1943, Sennett grew up in one of the first racially-mixed public housing projects in the United States. In the 1970s he founded, with Susan Sontag and Joseph Brodsky, The New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University, and chaired a UNESCO commission on urban development and design. In the 1980s he served as an advisor to UNESCO and as president of the American Council on Work; he also taught at Harvard. In 2006 he served as Chair of the jury of Venice Biennale. He chairs Theatrum Mundi, an international network which brings together young architects and planners, with artists working in cities. His many books include The Fall of Public Man, The Culture of New Capitalism, The Craftsman and the forthcoming Building and Dwelling.