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The Struggle for Modernism: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and City Planning at Harvard Hardcover – June 17, 2002

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews


“Alofsin does a fine job of introducing readers in the postmodern era to the social and political roots of [the] genre.” (Laurel McSherry - Landscape Architecture)

“Anyone interested in the...question of what consituted “modern” in the first half of the 20th century, should read this book.” (M. Frank, University of Massachusetts, Lowell)

About the Author

Anthony Alofsin is Roland Roessner Centennial Professor of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (June 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393730484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393730487
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.1 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,556,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Modernism in architecture is so closely identified with a handful of hero figures (like Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe) that we often forget that the real story behind its development is a complex and contentious one. In this wonderful and much-needed book, Anthony Alofsin deftly illustrates that the arrival of European architects in the U.S. in the 1930s cast a shadow over emerging progressive trends in American architectural design and education. At Harvard in particular, this led to an amnesia that convinced students and professors alike that it was Gropius who brought modern ideas to the Graduate School of Design when he began teaching there in 1937. "The Struggle for Modernism" shows clearly, though, that the kernels of these modern ideas were present in the Harvard design programs from their beginnings in 1900. It was not from the Bauhaus that Harvard developed its interdisciplinary approach to design that insisted on collaboration amongst architects, landscape architects, and city planners. Instead, it was Americans like Herbert Langford Warren, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., George Harold Edgell, and, most importantly, Joseph Hudnut who over decades created the influential and rigorous design programs. This is a fascinating and most welcome book that sheds much new light on a subject that many have incorrectly assumed was already well-understood. Highly recommended.
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