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Asmara: Africa's Secret Modernist City Hardcover – September, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Merrell (September 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1858942098
  • ISBN-13: 978-1858942094
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 9.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,038,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

An excellent overview of Asmara's colonial past, the ambitious building program of its Italian occupants, and its present condition. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Edward Denison and Guang Yu Ren are heritage consultants with broad international experience.They have spent more than five years working to identify, preserve and publicize the cultural assets of Eritrea. Naigzy Gebremedhin, one of Africa's most experienced and highly regarded consultants in the fields of architecture, engineering and the environment, was formerly Director of Eritrea's Cultural Assets Rehabilitation Programme. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Very well presented book.
Smart
A very important work that includes both the Eritrean history and the architectural mystique and prominence of this otherwise unknown city.
Starks
Anyone who was in the Peace Corps in or near Asmara or stationed at Kagnew Station would appreciate this lovely book.
T.C. Peck

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ron T. on March 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I spent several years living with my family in Asmara as a young boy. Now as an adult I've been searching for a book that would allow my to do some arm chair traveling back to my former home. Mr. Denison's book allowed me to do that in both word and picture. The book is broken up into a general history section followed by detailed photos on the major architecture of Asmara in each of the significant eras, and offers both vintage and current photographs and design plans of the buildings in the city.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Starks on September 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A very important work that includes both the Eritrean history and the architectural mystique and prominence of this otherwise unknown city.

I applaud the authors for helping to preserve Eritrea's architectural treasures, which stand as a true gem compared with the rest of the African continent. Outlined in the book are those that were spared from the marauding British and greedy Ethiopian invaders and withstood decades of war.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bomb Man58 on November 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I spent seven years living and working in Asmara and was fascinated by its architecture. To compliment Asmara the city, are its citizens, the Asmarinos-friendly, dedicated, hardworking and very proud.

Looking through the pages of this book brought back great memories of my time in Asmara. I was able to view the dedicated work of the Cultural Assets Rehabilitation Project (CARP) in the inner, historical quarter of the city. To see these old buildings come back to life was a joy to behold; especially the devotion to restoring the buildings authentically.

Anyone who has visited this timeless city will be captivated by the journey through the pages of this book. Originally aimed at people in the architectural business, the book reaches out to any reader with its photographic portrayal of one of the world's unique cities.

An extremely well researched and written book; the authors have devoted a great deal of time into their research with getting every aspect of Asmara's development history correct. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and commend it to anyone who has ever visited Asmara. Ane Asmara yefetwa eyee.
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Format: Paperback
Edward Denison, Guang Yu Ren and Naigzy Gebremedhin's ASMARA: AFRICA'S SECRET MODERNIST CITY examines the nature and architectural innovations of a city which holds one of the highest concentrations of Modernist architecture in the world. Experts with detailed knowledge of the city survey many of the structures, add notes from previously unpublished archival material, and include original photography not to be seen elsewhere. A 'must' for any college-level collection strong in architecture and modern urban landscapes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By a reader on May 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would like to add how important a text this is to the literature on fascist aesthetics.

With the institutionalization of genocide studies, the development of curriculum on the powerful ideas of modernity, national myth, the power of a carefully-developed aesthetic for propaganda, spectacle, crowd control to inspire people to buy into a modernist national myth becomes imperative.

Frederic Spotts, in "Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics", pinned down the long-rumored connection between fascist aesthetics and rock concerts. He documented the fact that David Bowie and Mick Jagger both spent hours watching Leni Riefenstahl's masterpiece of Hitler propaganda, "Triumph of the Will". The thought of Jagger and Bowie as manipulators of a fascist aesthetic rather than the alleged revolution they've been singing about all these years should give every fan of rock concert production food for thought. Under my thumb, girl. There's a PhD. thesis to be written comparing rock concert production effects with those carefully laid out by Albert Speer for the Nuremberg rally, which is the subject of Riefenstahl's movie.

Asmara was Mussolini's planned city, his expression of modernism in his newly-acquired African colony. It is a most beautiful city, and takes its place with the publication of this excellent book as perhaps the most ambitious expression of the totalitarian ethic. Compared to Soviet modernism or Hitler kitsch, Asmara stands for Italian superiority in architecture unchanged since the Romans.

As a planned city for Africa, Asmara is also a major site for post-colonial or subaltern studies.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T.C. Peck on May 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone who was in the Peace Corps in or near Asmara or stationed at Kagnew Station would appreciate this lovely book.
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By almaz abraha on December 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent job by the photographers and the historian. I love the cover page fantastic gives what to expect inside.
Thank you guys for your contribution it is my hard copy Asmara Architectural museum now!
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