Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle Reading App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Andrew M. Shanken is assistant professor of architectural history at the University of California, Berkeley. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Art Bulletin, Design Issues, Landscape, Places and Planning Perspectives.
A fascinating look at how consumer culture embraced the idea of "planning" during World War II as the United States imagined life in 194x- the year the war would end. It was particularly interesting to read about how various prominent architects joined with building product manufacturers to produce written materials for distribution to ordinary Americans. In the end, planning was cast off by these same corporations near the end of the war once many of the entrenched manufacturers realized that modernization threatened their business models. Shanken also does a nice job of identifying a desire to return to pre-war and pre-depression normalcy, explaining why postwar housing was so conservatively designed. The book is a quick read and contains lots of illustrations from 1940s advertisements that are often highly amusing to today's reader.
Was this review helpful to you?