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The International Style Paperback – February 17, 1997

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This book is a landmark in American history, and a unique and historical document which should provide general readers, critics, and historians with a time machine through which to view our changing perspective on modern architecture.

About the Author

Philip Johnson served as the first Director of Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art in 1932. In the seven decades since then, Johnson has designed some of America's landmarks, most notably his own home, the Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Revised ed. edition (February 17, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393315185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393315189
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #567,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Ferguson VINE VOICE on January 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
The most interesting aspect of the new edition is the recent forward by Philip Johnson (1995). In it he humorously describes his relationship with "The International Style," and how dated the book now appears. He also notes that it was Alfred Barr who introduced Hitchcock and him to this new world of architecture. It was Barr who had written extensively on the subject and dubbed it an "International Style."
Not surprisingly, nearly all the buildings included in this catalog for the 1932 MoMA exhibit date from 1927. This was a pivotal year in the Modern Movement. Le Corbusier's "Toward a New Architecture" first appeared in English. The new improved Bauhaus opened its doors in Dessau, in Gropius' newly constructed complex. The International Competition for the League of Nations building was held with Le Corbusier losing out on a technicality. A building exhibition, laid out by Mies van der Rohe, was sponsored by the Deutscher Werkbund in Stuttgart. Modern Architecture had come of age.
The selections are interesting for their range of architects but have several notable omissions. Among them Rudolf Schindler, who dismissed the idea of an "International Style," in a letter to Johnson. Modern architects then and now hate the idea of a "style," believing their works to be based on a set of constructive and compositional principles which transcend the notion of style.
Nevertheless, the name stuck. Hitchcock and Johnson are widely credited for bringing the International Style to America, even though some early works by Neutra, Hood, Howe and Lescaze were included in the exhibition. Most importantly, Johnson lured Mies to America, where he would achieve his most lofty aspirations. The book makes for an interesting read but has long been superceded by more insightful and penetrating books on the subject.
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As always, Hitchcock is a captivating and insightful writer of architecture. Very good reading for an American centric perspective on how European modernism was re-packaged and made presentable to American sensibilities (the pragmatist vs. the political). Interesting that Wright is excluded from the 'group' yet the Euros of the day acknowledge his influence in development of their ideas.
Also really good follow-up articles in the Feb 1982 issue of Progressive Architecture.
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By Del Acosta on February 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book for anyone interested in modern architecture. A must have for any student regardless of professional interest.
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