Twentieth-century American Architecture: The Buildings and Their Makers

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2000 - Architecture - 368 pages
3 Reviews
Carter Wiseman presents an original, readable, and literate overview of the major figures, influential movements, and landmark buildings that have defined American architecture over the past hundred years. In a survey that is "as good . . . as anyone is likely to write . . . accurate in its facts, wise and fair in its judgments"(New York Times), he focuses to a large extent on architecture's makers--the commanding figures who by force of personality and sheer artistic ability indelibly influenced its progress: Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson, I. M. Pei, Robert Venturi, Louis Kahn, Frank Gehry. The triumph of modernism; the growth of architectural preservation; the eclipse of the practical arts by money, theory, and abstraction; and the uncertain future of architecture in a country that celebrates both individualism and community are just some of the issues addressed in this highly praised work. Originally published in hardcover under the title Shaping a Nation.

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Review: Shaping A Nation: Twentieth Century American Architecture And Its Makers

User Review  - Melissa Spiga - Goodreads

I've had this book for several months and keep moving it to the bottom of the stack. I think its time to read now, work has slown down a little so this doesn't feel so much like studying as it does learning about a subject I was passionate about before I entered the field. Read full review

Review: Shaping A Nation: Twentieth Century American Architecture And Its Makers

User Review  - Michael - Goodreads

Well written, this is a clear book that covers much ground in a general way. A good starting point, I would say, for those beginning their exposure to US architectural development. Read full review


CHAPTER ONE The Lure of the Tall
CHAPTER TWO Domestic Diversity
CHAPTER THREE Eclecticism and the Uses of the Past
CHAPTER FOUR Modernism and the Abstract Ascendancy
CHAPTER FIVE The Romantic Resistance
CHAPTER SIX The Power of Preservation
CHAPTER SEVEN The Outbreak of the Ordinary
CHAPTER EIGHT The Whites the Grays
CHAPTER NINE HighRise Hard Sell
CHAPTER TEN The Flight from the Real
CHAPTER ELEVEN Refuge vs Community

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About the author (2000)

Carter Wiseman teaches history and criticism at the Yale School of architecture. He lives in Weston, Connecticut. He is also the author of Twentieth-Century American Architecture.

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