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This short documentary film is the first part of a larger series hosted by Lewis Mumford, an American historian, sociologist, philosopher, and literary critic, who wrote the book The City in History on which this film is based. The film originally aired in 1963. This first film in the series uses historic footage from all over the world for a kind of meditative effect, punctuated with Mumford's philosophical observations on the past, present, and future of cities.
Warning: Some graphic images appear in the last third of this film.
The life and achievements of architect and urban designer Daniel Burnham offer a chance to witness the application of the social agenda of the City Beautiful movement, of which Burnham was one of the most famous practitioners.