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Princeton: America's Campus Paperback – April 26, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press (April 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0271050861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0271050867
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,013,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“The finest study I know of the architecture and planning of an American campus.”

—William Rhoads, SUNY New Paltz



“An eloquent history of the distinguished Princeton campus. Thank you, Barksdale Maynard.”

—Robert Venturi



“Anyone interested in universities, architecture, and social history will want to read this fascinating book.”

—Neil L. Rudenstine, Harvard University

About the Author

W. Barksdale Maynard is the author of five books on American history, architecture, and landscape. Trained as an architectural historian, he has taught at Johns Hopkins and Princeton.


More About the Author

Author of six books on history since 2002, several of them award-winning, as well as two co-authored business books. Regular lecturer in art history at universities including Johns Hopkins and Princeton since 1997; currently a lecturer in the School of Architecture at Princeton. Highly experienced freelance journalist who has written for more than 30 magazines and newspapers since 1999, including the Washington Post and New York Times. Extensive online publication record including Smithsonian, Psychology Today, and LinkedIn. Regular contributor to Better Homes and Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg Journal as well as to alumni magazines of Princeton (more than 80 articles including several cover stories), Yale, and Harvard. 70 public lectures since 2001, including popular walking tours of the Princeton campus (shown in photograph). My new book is The Brandywine: An Intimate Portrait.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jim Reader on October 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This very readable account of the history of Princeton University and its architecture was quite a surprise. Having believed Princeton's gothic architecture existed from the founding of the college, I was surprised to learn that it dates from 1900 and was largely due to the vision of Woodrow Wilson and the hiring of Ralph Adams Cram as the college's supervising architect. As earlier buildings either burned down or wore out, Princeton's new plan for an inspiring seat of learning came from visiting the colleges at Oxford and Cambridge. Great care was taken in building design and construction, utilizing local stone and very skilled artisans - stonecutters, carvers and sculptors among them. Though the book is primarily concerned with the building and re-building of Princeton, there is much written about daily student life through the years and some of the famous people who attended, such as a F. Scott Fitzgerald and Woodrow Wilson. Author W. Barksdale Maynard also writes about the fierce loyalty of Princeton alumni and their influence on campus building years after graduation, and about Princeton traditions, such as the "eating clubs" that still exist today.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jon L. Albee TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Though certainly an architectural history of the university, this book is also a good general history of Princeton.

I'd really like to say that the book is a good history of the university told through its buildings, but few of those buildings survive. Actually, I was surprised to learn that with the notable exception of Nassau Hall, very little remains of pre-1900 Princeton, and absolutely NOTHING remains in unaltered form. This is a bit of irony considering that Princeton is one of our oldest colleges. Not that the buildings never existed. They did, but most have been significantly altered or replaced.

OK, so we've established the scarcity of the subject matter. Of what IS at Princeton, of the Gothic imagery we so associate with our ancient seats of learning, this is the very best guidebook. It is not a directory or catalog of buildings, but a narrative of campus development, of the intermingling of styles and half-executed master plans. In this way, Princeton is just like any other prominent American university. It's had its grand plans and big name architects, but many projects remained unrealized.

The book highlights many important structures at Princeton, including the ones you expect. It also highlights two buildings that I believe run right to the heart of their respective artistic purposes; Firestone Library (1948) and the recently completed Whitman College (2007). Firestone represented the end of the deliberate Gothic historicism, having a highly muted exterior and a modern interior. It is basically a modern box with some gothic detailing. On the opposite end of the scale is Whitman College, which represents the return of Gothic historicism. The ensemble that composes Whitman College resembles that of Cram's Graduate College.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alan I. Bigel on November 2, 2013
Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
This book was very carefully boxed and the dustjacket was covered. First class and very respectful to a buyer. Thank you.
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