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The Bauhaus boys and their allies decided that buildings and even cities are “machines for living,” and they might have kept erecting their inhuman contraptions indefinitely if Jane Jacobs’ influential 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, hadn’t taken a contrary view. Cities are living organisms, Jacobs maintained—an insight that she subsequently expanded, not quite so convincingly, to regional and national economies. Jacobs rarely leaves Toronto, her refuge since New York was plazaed and high-rised within an inch of its life, but tonight she’s in D.C. to discuss her theories, the subject of her new book, The Nature of Economies. Jacobs has lately taken to writing in a Socratic-dialogue form that some readers find distracting, so this is a chance to hear her express her ideas more directly. She talks at 6:30 p.m. at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $20. For reservations call (202) 272-2448. (Mark Jenkins)