â€ś[Sennett] has ended up writing the best available contemporary defense of anarchism. . . . The issues [he] raises are fundamental and profound. His book is utopian in the best senseâ€”it tries to define a radically different future and to show that it could be constructed from the materials at hand.â€ť â€“Kenneth Keniston, New York Times Book Review The distinguished social critic Richard Sennett here shows how the excessively ordered community freezes adultsâ€”both the young idealists and their security-oriented parentsâ€”into rigid attitudes that stifle personal growth. He argues that the accepted ideal of order generates patterns of behavior among the urban middle classes that are stultifying, narrow, and violence-prone. And he proposes a functioning city that can incorporate anarchy, diversity, and creative disorder to bring into being adults who can openly respond to and deal with the challenges of life.