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The Autobiography of an Idea (Dover Architecture) Paperback – June 22, 2009

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About the Author

In the 1870s, Louis H. Sullivan (1856–1924) participated in the rebuilding of Chicago after the great fire. An early influence on Frank Lloyd Wright, he was instrumental in the development of steel high-rise structures that evolved into modern skyscrapers.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Architecture
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (June 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 048620281X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486202815
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #961,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Any student of architecture, particularly the modern movement, will enjoy reading this work by the mentor of Frank Lloyd Wright and, arguably, the father of modern architecture. In it, Louis Sullivan writes about himself growing from a child into a man, and recounts his personal drive, his fascination with nature, his love of man, bridges, engineering, and buildings, and his desire to create something new without the help of the dusty books of Neo-classicism. Louis Sullivan was never known for his modesty, and the tone of this book is nothing less than self-celebratory, which lends an overall optimistic tone to it. A bonus is the extensive photo plate section - it's interesting to see how his works grew as he did. Unfortunately the plates don't coincide with the text, which is the major flaw in this edition. Overall, though, it's wonderful insight into the mind of this influential architect.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Louis Sullivan was the most innovative architect of the 19th and 20th century, yet his work was oddly eschewed by his peers. He accurately predicted that the neoclassical style he hated would become the idiom of architecture for fifty years because of the 1893 Columbian Exposition. Why was he overlooked in his own time? You won't find out in this slim volume; you will learn how he thought about architecture, but nothing of his personal life. This book, his own autobiography, is fabulously inciteful, but, oh my god, the language! Why use three words when forty will do? I plowed through it, but it was not a pleasure. Do I understand him better? Yeah, maybe. You better be darn interested in what he has to say to do the same.
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This is a very inspiring if tragic story of one of a great innovator who may not have been appreciated enough in his lifetime. Or maybe he was not as team oriented as he could have been. I wonder if he is a partial model for Roark in The Fountainhead. My mom turned me onto this book when I was 14. In a rare break from my teenage contrariness I read the book and it truly changed my life.
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Format: Kindle Edition
self indulgent is a mild way of describing this stuff. Great architect, lousy writer. Good luck swimming through this mental swamp.
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I saw he play twice and wanted to read it so I could savor that great speech of David Hyde Pierce's.
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The Autobiography of an Idea (Dover Architecture)
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