Virtual Event: Annalee Newitz
Four Lost Cities:
A Secret History of the Urban Age
in conversation with ARKADY MARTINE
April 21, 2021
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series, the Harvard University Division of Science, and the Harvard Library welcome ANNALEE NEWITZ—acclaimed science journalist and author of The Future of Another Timeline—for a discussion of their latest book, Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age. They will be joined in conversation by ARKADY MARTINE, historian and author of the Hugo Award–winning novel A Memory Called Empire.
Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store
While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy Four Lost Cities on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About Four Lost Cities
In Four Lost Cities, acclaimed science journalist Annalee Newitz takes readers on an entertaining and mind-bending adventure into the deep history of urban life. Investigating across the centuries and around the world, Newitz explores the rise and fall of four ancient cities, each the center of a sophisticated civilization: the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Central Turkey, the Roman vacation town of Pompeii on Italy’s southern coast, the medieval megacity of Angkor in Cambodia, and the indigenous metropolis Cahokia, which stood beside the Mississippi River where East St. Louis is today.
Newitz travels to all four sites and investigates the cutting-edge research in archaeology, revealing the mix of environmental changes and political turmoil that doomed these ancient settlements. Tracing the early development of urban planning, Newitz also introduces us to the often anonymous workers—slaves, women, immigrants, and manual laborers—who built these cities and created monuments that lasted millennia.
Four Lost Cities is a journey into the forgotten past, but, foreseeing a future in which the majority of people on Earth will be living in cities, it may also reveal something of our own fate.
Praise for Four Lost Cities
"Cheerful, curious, amused, and amusing, Annalee Newitz is a fabulous tour guide through the latest archaeological perspectives on four of humankind’s most remarkable urban experiments. Along the way, Newitz dispels myths, evokes fascinating stories—and makes us think hard about our own urban future." —Charles Mann, author of 1491 and 1493
"Newitz always sees to the heart of complex systems and breaks them down with poetic ferocity." —N. K. Jemisin, author of the Broken Earth trilogy
"Annalee Newitz is a brilliant writer with the heart of an archaeologist and the soul of a visionary. Four Lost Cities should open our eyes to all that may happen to our cities in the future. Vibrant and adventurous, this is a necessary book for turbulent times." —Sarah Parcak, archaeologist and author of Archaeology from Space
The Harvard Science Book Talks series is a collaboration between the Harvard University Division of Science, the Harvard Library, and Harvard Book Store. The series features talks by the authors of recently published books on a variety of science-related topics and is open to both the Harvard community and to the general public. Typically, lectures are followed by a book signing with the author and refreshments. Learn more and watch recordings of past talks here.
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