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The Architecture of Diplomacy: Building America's Embassies, 2nd Revised Edition Paperback – Bargain Price, November 30, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 2nd Revised edition (November 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568989849
  • ASIN: B007PM0PR4
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,359,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This book covers a neglected chapter of American architectural history, the history of American embassies around the world, from the earliest beginnings in the 19th century to the present effort to build in the new capitol city of Berlin. The author is an accomplished historian, and she has written a fascinating, readable, and scholarly chronicle. She takes into account the ins and outs of American political history along with the "ooohs" and "ahs" of American aesthetic history. Matters of security, function, and style are addressed as well. Most of the book concentrates on the last half century, during which American embassies morphed from inviting modernist symbols celebrating democracy and transparency into forbidding military fortresses serving security and opacity. For all architecture collections in larger public as well as academic libraries.?Peter S. Kaufman, Boston Architectural Ctr.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Insightful and meticulously researched, this fascinating history of America's embassy-building program is filled with stories of international intrigue and bureaucratic snarls. Beginning with the the dawn of the Cold War, Loeffler explores the forces and challenges (political, financial, social, symbolic) that affect such projects...Building an embassy is a supremely complicated feat, this book ably shows, one requiring as much diplomacy as design." -- Architectural Record, January, 1999

"Loeffler's book is an indispensable contribution to understanding our current diplomatic problems and an invitation to think seriously about how to solve them." -- American Studies International, February, 1999

"The Architecture of Diplomacy reads like a Washington political thriller..." -- Metropolis, August/September 1998

The Architecture of Diplomacy is a splendidly presented treatise on both subjects. Which is to say diplomacy as well as architecture. Beginning in the 1950s, as new nations came into being across the globe, the United States built new embassies designed as statements of recognition and welcome. Almost invariably, the new countries began as democracies, and our new buildings were intended to express the achievement and accomplishment of American democracy. As much as modernism can do, was done. If many of these buildings now stand as a reproach to existing regimes, so be it. The State Department planners of the 1950s built better than they knew! -- Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, U.S. Ambassador to India, 1973-75, Honorary Member, AIA --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Jane C. Loeffler is the Washington-based author of THE ARCHITECTURE OF DIPLOMACY: BUILDING AMERICA'S EMBASSIES (1998, 2010), the "canonical" history of the U.S. State Department's foreign building program that was the first to place a remarkable chapter in American architectural history into its diplomatic context and the first to examine the transformation of U.S. embassies from glass boxes to bunkers.

An architectural historian, Dr. Loeffler graduated from Wellesley College and the Harvard Graduate School of Design and earned her doctorate in American Civilization from The George Washington University. The State Department twice honored her for achievement and distinguished public service. She testified as an expert witness before the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs on Fortress America Abroad: Effective Diplomacy and the Future of U.S. Embassies (2008), and served on the AIA 21st Century Embassy Task Force (2009). As visiting associate professor in the Honors College at the University of Maryland, College Park (2001-2011), she also won recognition for her teaching excellence.

Dr. Loeffler wrote a book on Ezra Stoller's photographs of THE UNITED NATIONS (1999), and contributed to books including VILLA OTIUM: A DIPLOMATIC HOME (2012); BUILDING DIPLOMACY (2004); and EMBASSY RESIDENCES IN WASHINGTON, D.C. (2003). She has published numerous articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers, and lectured widely at venues including embassies in Washington (Colombia, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Austria), the National Building Museum, the American Institute of Architects, U.S. embassies abroad (Ottawa, Oslo, Beijing, and Berlin), Stroom Den Haag (in The Hague), and the British School at Rome. She has discussed her work in interviews on radio and TV, and she has lectured at universities including: Harvard, MIT, Wellesley, UVA, Johns Hopkins SAIS, Oslo School of Architecture and Design, and Columbia.

Research travels have taken Dr. Loeffler to U.S. embassies in Athens, Ottawa, London, Dublin, Helsinki, Oslo, Copenhagen, Paris, Prague, The Hague, Brussels, Berlin, Rome, Madrid, Tokyo, and Beijing, and to the U.S. Consulate General in Munich. And she has visited, spoken at, or taken her students to tour embassies and diplomatic residences in Washington, including those of: Austria, Israel, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Malaysia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Great Britain, Colombia, Turkey, Indonesia, India, Egypt, Russia, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Brazil, Côte d'Ivoire, The Netherlands, Japan, and Canada.

Those interested in delving deeper into the subject of diplomatic architecture will be pleased to know that Dr. Loeffler has recently donated her papers and photographs to the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University in New York City where they will become the JANE C. LOEFFLER COLLECTION OF RESEARCH PAPERS ON AMERICAN EMBASSIES. Researchers should be able to access the collection by Fall 2014 once it is fully processed.

For more information on Dr. Loeffler's work and a full list of her publications and appearances, see: www.thearchitectureofdiplomacy.com or go to www.janeloeffler.com.

Photo captions: 1) Jane Loeffler on C-SPAN (2008); 2) Testifying before Congress (2008); 3) At U.S. Embassy, Athens (1999) with Fred Naff & Jud Hamblett; 4) At Norwegian Embassy, Washington, D.C. with Ambassador Strommen (2012); 5) Stephen Kieran, OBO acting director Adam Namm, Jane Loeffler, & James Timberlake at AIA celebrating selection of KieranTimberlake to design new London Embassy (2010); 6) Foreign Service Journal article (Dec. 2012); 7) Lecturing at U.S. Ambassador's Residence, Oslo (2011); 8) Jane Loeffler (2011).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Maria Durell Stone on July 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many writers have written about my husband, Edward Durell Stone who died in 1978.
The writing here by Jane C. Loeffler about Mr.Stone is accurate, something many writers have ignored. The truth is highly important when speaking of an individual who was a creative giant.

The cover of "The Architecture of Diplomacy" features Edward's embassy building in New Delhi, India. Without a doubt is has been considered the most beautiful of all the embassies built in that era. Frank Lloyd Wright praised it calling it 'The Taj Maria'. I am complimented. Edward designed the building on our honeymoon, as we blissfully ventured on an around the world trip.

Jane's book brought back graceful memories. I thank her.

Maria Durell Stone
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gregory S. Knoop on April 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have had the good fortune to meet Ms. Loeffler, to hear her speak on this subject, to be involved in designing embassies, studying embassies, and also in reading this spectacular history. Although it was written a few years prior to 9/11/01, and so does not cover the current Embassy building program, her history is very complete in covering the development an American building type.

Although all countries have embassies, a United States Embassy is a special kind of building. Ms. Loeffler takes us all around the world and across over a century of time exploring how the US Embassies have developed and evolved over the years. The most interesting portions of the book are in the post World War II period to the early 1960's.

The reader is introduced to the important people in FBO (now called OBO) at the State Department. We read of the growth of the embassy program and the contribution of important American architects. We learn of the endeavors of FBO to create a world class image for America through our embassies. We learn of the challenges of designing for terrorism.

I hope Ms. Loeffler will get a chance to add chapters to this history to follow the current developments as this building type continues to develop in these post 9/11 years.

Good Book.

Gregory Knoop

Oudens + Knoop Architects
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By the rocket surgeon on October 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I graduated in may with a Master of Architecture degree. My thesis was examining American embassy building typology and over the course of the year I exhausted nearly every written resource I could find on the topic. This book continually kept me genuinely captivated in the whole history. I was often amazed at how many determining factors she would be able to comprehensibly discuss: World politics, American politics, American agendas, Architectural politics, cultural considerations, authoritative demands, Howard Roarks, counter-sustainable building practices... the list goes on.

While I used this book as an insight into a more holistic history of the typology I would also recommend it as simply a really good read. If you're interested in the topic definitely pick this one up.
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