China Review International: Vol. 19, No. 3, 2012 Joseph R. Allen. Taipei: City of Displacement. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2012. xv, 280 pp. Paperback $30.00, isbn 978-0-295-99126-9. Taipei: City of Displacement is an interesting and insightful book about the cultural politics of public space in a postcolonial East Asian city. Combining investigation of historical material and long-term observation of contemporary urban spaces, Joseph Allen presents a brilliant spatial reading of historical and present-day Taipei. As Allen mentions in the book ( p. 186), the theoretical framework of his study is primarily informed by Lefebvre, Harvey, and Hayden, whose works usually see space not as a backdrop for social and historical events, but as a type of agent actively engaged in these events. Similarly, Taipei focuses on how the visual representation of public spaces in Taipei supports the construction and reconstruction of ideology, especially the ideology of Taiwanese national identity. The picture of Taipei Park on the front cover -- which shows the juxtaposition of a neoclassical museum built by the Japanese colonial government, a Chinese pavilion built during the postWorld War II period, and a skyscraper built in the postmartial law era -- accurately reflects the key
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Apr 15, 2012
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