From the Ground Up

The From the Ground Up series offers a fresh perspective on centuries of growth and change in cities, drawn from buildings and ruins, squares and waterways, and works of art. Each chapter, accompanied by maps and illustrations, doubles as both narrative history and itinerary for travelers.

Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.

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Cover: Rome from the Ground Up

Rome from the Ground Up

McGregor, James H. S.

Rome is not one city but many, each with its own history unfolding from a different center. Beginning with the very shaping of the ground on which Rome first rose, this book conjures all these cities, past and present, conducting the reader through time and space to the complex and shifting realities—architectural, historical, political, and social—that constitute Rome.

Cover: Venice from the Ground Up

Venice from the Ground Up

McGregor, James H. S.

Venice came to life on mudflats at the edge of the habitable world. Protected in a tidal estuary from invaders and Byzantine overlords, the fishermen and traders who settled there crafted a way of life unlike anything the Roman Empire had ever known. In an astonishing feat of narrative history, James H. S. McGregor recreates this world, with its waterways rather than roads and its livelihood harvested from the sea. The narrative follows both a chronological and geographical organization, so that readers can trace the city’s evolution by chapter and visitors can explore it by district on foot and by boat.

Cover: Paris from the Ground Up

Paris from the Ground Up

McGregor, James H. S.

Paris is the most personal of cities. There is a Paris for the medievalist, and another for the modernist—a Paris for expatriates, philosophers, artists, romantics, and revolutionaries of every stripe. James H. S. McGregor brings these multiple perspectives into focus throughout this concise, unique history of the City of Light. Color maps, along with identifying illustrations, make the city accessible to visitors by foot, Metro, or riverboat.

Capitalism and Its Discontents [picture of the ruins of a house]