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Architecture and the American Dream Hardcover – November 12, 1996


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In this heavily illustrated, multidisciplinary treatise, architect Whitaker, who also teaches at New York University, links American values of individualism, equality, freedom, community, and renewal to the nation's architectural patterns. Chapters deal with urban planning; the dichotomy between front and back, public and private; and grids, rows, pairs, and pauses and concludes with a mantra for common ground and wholeness. While major tenets, especially arguments for a cohesive set of identifiable American cultural values, are facilely expressed, Whitaker's choice and detailed analysis of individual architectural examples is first-rate. The work is extensively documented, and the bibliography is satisfactory. Recommended for architecture, urban planning, and American studies collections.?Russell T. Clement, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Award-winning architect, city planner, and New York University professor Whitaker sets out to convince the reader that while the architecture and urban design in the U.S. appear to be totally chaotic, there is a direct correlation between our human-made environment and the values and ideals that we Americans hold so dear. These include equality, freedom of choice, and the right to express ourselves when, where, and how we see fit. Although Whitaker's book could be used as a textbook for a college course on urban design, the writing is not technical, and the ideas are presented in such a way, with references to easily recognizable features in our culture, that it is also interesting and accessible to the reader with only a casual interest in urban design. Each point made in the text is punctuated with at least one and in many cases a series of well-placed, black-and-white photographs, diagrams, and drawings. Randall Enos
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1st edition (November 12, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517703785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517703786
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,436,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Excellent book exploring the specific way our culture has influenced architecture and urban design in American cities. Amusing and interesting. the images are plentiful, illustrating all the authors ideas clearly
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
"We admire a building or a group of buildings because they express, how subtly, certain images and ideas we have about ourselfs." This book is the only book a young studying architect will ever need. It will make a great addition to your library, even if you have never been interested in Architecture before
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