This essay reviews images of urbanization that have been held by academics and activists, including revolutionary leaders. It examines the methodology and findings of case studies in Nigeria, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Kenya, Turkey, Malaysia and other countries with the aim of determining how well suited are the data and theories for assessing the relationship between urbanization and political stability. The review examines the following topics: migration; political participaton and the urban poor; radical parties and urban violence; the over-urbanization thesis; class and ethnicity. It especially evaluates the role of so-called urban marginals in urban political life and concludes that the evidence is overwhelming that there is no widespread culture of poverty or culture of apathy among the urban poor in developing countries. 119 references.