Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution

Rousing manifesto on the city and the commons from the acclaimed theorist

Long before Occupy, cities were the subject of much utopian thinking. They are the centers of capital accumulation as well as of revolutionary politics, where deeper currents of social and political change rise to the surface. Do the financiers and developers control access to urban resources or do the people? Who dictates the quality and organization of daily life?

Rebel Cities places the city at the heart of both capital and class struggles, looking at locations ranging from Johannesburg to Mumbai, from New York City to São Paulo. Drawing on the Paris Commune as well as Occupy Wall Street and the London Riots, Harvey asks how cities might be reorganized in more socially just and ecologically sane ways—and how they can become the focus for anti-capitalist resistance.


  • “Whose streets? Our streets! In Rebel Cities David Harvey shows us how we might turn this slogan into a reality. That task—and this book—could hardly be more important.”
  • “David Harvey provoked a revolution in his field and has inspired a generation of radical intellectuals.”
  • “Challenging and timely.”
  • “Forensic and ferocious.”
  • “Harvey’s clarion demand [is] that it is “we”, not the developers, corporate planners, or political elites, who truly build the city, and only we who can seize back our right to its control.”
  • “Intellectuals in the Occupy movement [will] appreciate Rebel Cities' descriptions of the historic and international parallel of urban struggles to reclaim public space and build culture, and be intrigued by Harvey’s musings on how to grow a lively, resilient revolutionary anticapitalist movement.”
  • “A consistent intelligent voice of the left.”


  • "Why aren’t the Left thinking about what the hell’s going on?"—David Harvey meets Icon magazine

    The radical geographer David Harvey spoke with Fatema Ahmed for Icon magazine about his latest book Rebel Cities: From Right to the City to the Urban Revolution, the "right to the city" and ways in which people around the world can reclaim urban spaces. This is a longer version of an interview that was published in the September issue, 'Restless Cities'. 

    Icon: You talk about how Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, has reshaped the city, Manhattan most of all. He uses the positive-sounding slogan: “Building like Moses, with Jane Jacobs in mind.” But you ask: “What do you do with the people who have to be moved on? Are you arguing for more static cities? Part of the dynamism of cities is that people move in and out.

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  • S17: On Occupy's first birthday, all roads lead to Wall Street

    A year ago this Monday, a few hundred young protestors bed down in lower Manhattan to protest the corruption of America's political, social, and economic institutions. Occupy Wall Street's grievances have been famously diverse, but as the movement rounds the corner into its second year it can claim many victories: a world-wide network of over one thousand self-identified occupations, a vast ecology of movement-generated media, a worker-owned cooperative, measurably successful campaigns in collaboration with New York-based activist groups against racial profiling and unfair housing practices, and, quite recently, a report investigating the illegal practices of the New York Police Department throughout the year.

    There's quite a bit to celebrate, and this weekend in New York activists from across the country converge on the financial district to ring in Occupy's new year. If you're in New York, we invite you to attend one or all of these events with us. 

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  • Verso Authors at the 2012 Brooklyn Book Festival!

    Verso Books authors will appear on panel discussions alongside over 280 distinguished writers and thinkers at this year's Brooklyn Book Festival, the borough's seventh and largest international literary conference to date. Writers and book enthusiasts are expected to stage a veritable take over of Brooklyn, as the festival has expanded to twelve venues from Willamsburg to Gowanus presenting over 140 panels from September 17-23rd. 

    From David Harvey on American cities in the new economy, to Simon Crithley on the quest for the conversational sublime and Tariq Ali on the global revolution, we sincerely hope you visit our outstanding authors as they discuss and debate some of the most pressing issues of the moment. 

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