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Architecture of Democracy Hardcover – July 25, 2006

6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Allan Greenberg ranks among the top architects active today. Educated at the Yale School of Architecture under Paul Rudolph, Greenberg has been widely influential in furthering architectural scholarship and practice through his writings, public lectures, teaching, and commissions.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (July 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847827933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847827930
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 1 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,361,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Allan Greenberg is an American architect and one of the leading architects of the twenty-first century. He is known as a classical architect. However, his work challenges the common distinctions between classical and modern architecture. He was born in South Africa, where he completed his architectural degree. He had a classical and modern architectural education. He had to learn to draw over 300 buildings from memory, and yet was imbued with a great appreciation of Le Corbusier. He worked in the office of Jørn Utzon in Denmark, designing the Sydney Opera House. Greenberg came to the United States for his graduate degree in architecture at Yale with esteemed modernist Paul Rudolph. Greenberg designed and built a "modern" addition to the Connecticut Law Library, a "classical" building, in 1969. He saw then that the classical forms served two purposes: First, they were unrivaled for building cities. They simultaneously offered variety and unity. Second, the founders of the American nation had stamped these classical forms with an American identity.
Greenberg, as so many immigrants are, is an ardent devotee of the blessings American offers. He has written several books, linking politics and architecture - The Architecture of Democracy (Rizzoli, 2006) and George Washington Architect. His clients include Harrison Ford, Carolyne Roehm, and Martha Stewart. He has built major buildings at Rice University, Princeton University, and the University of Delaware. Allan Greenberg, Architect built Tommy Hilfiger's flagship store in Beverly Hills, that has since become Brooks Brothers. He is the first American to win the Driehaus Prize in Classical Architecture (2006). Architectural Digest just named Greenberg to its AD100 for 2014 -the magazine's top 100 choices for "the world's preeminent architects and designers." This is his third consecutive year on the list.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on November 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Greenberg says: 'Although they may be difficult to read, buildings tell stories through their form, symbolic content, and relationship to the surrounding city.'

In this book he uses an eclectic set of photographs of buildings that in his mind help to define the American democratic experience. These pictures vary from simple one room school houses to big ornate Government buildings. The pictures are combined with a description that explains what he sees in the architecture of that building.

Mr. Greenberg came to this country in 1964, fleeing the apartheid system in South Africa. Perhaps this has given him an insight that we natives don't have, or perhaps he just sees with an artists eye what eludes us.

Not all of the buildings shown are American. He brings in foreigh designs from time to time to illustrate the points he is making. It's a fascinating book that shows a different side of the art of architecture.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sephanie W. Kanwit on January 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that will appeal to all, the history buff, the architecture buff, and those interested in how America came to be such a unique country. The photos are simply gorgeous, including scenes of the inside and outside of Mt Vernon and Monticello, and the text is innovative and easy to follow---where else will you find a comparison in the size of George Washington's home at Mt Vernon to the scale of the French court at Versailles and listen to Mr. Greenberg talk about why Pres. Washington felt he was a citizen, not a king? You will also laugh: the book shows the architecture of the Empire State building and comments on all the movies that have been built around it. I bought a number of copies of this book for Christmas presents....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ruth F. Greenberg on November 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Allan is such a magnificent thinker and his ideas are beautifully written in this look at how our architecture speaks to and about our ideology and who we are both personally and collectively as a people. Surprisingly pleasurable to read.
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