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A Women's Berlin: Building the Modern City (Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage)by Despina Stratigakos
Synopses & Reviews
Around the beginning of the twentieth century, women began to claim Berlin as their own, expressing a vision of the German capital that embraced their feminine modernity, both culturally and architecturally. Women located their lives and made their presence felt in the streets and institutions of this dynamic metropolis. From residences to restaurants, schools to exhibition halls, a visible network of women’s spaces arose to accommodate changing patterns of life and work.
A Women’s Berlin retraces this largely forgotten city, which came into being in the years between German unification in 1871 and the demise of the monarchy in 1918 and laid the foundation for a novel experience of urban modernity. Although the phenomenon of women taking control of urban space was widespread in this period, Despina Stratigakos shows how Berlin’s concentration of women’s building projects produced a more fully realized vision of an alternative metropolis. Female clients called on female design professionals to help them define and articulate their architectural needs. Many of the projects analyzed in A Women’s Berlin represent a collaborative effort uniting female patrons, architects, and designers to explore the nature of female aesthetics and spaces.
At the same time that women were transforming the built environment, they were remaking Berlin in words and images. Female journalists, artists, political activists, and social reformers portrayed women as influential actors on the urban scene and encouraged female audiences to view their relationship to the city in a radically different light. Stratigakos reveals how women’s remapping of Berlin connected the imaginary to the physical, merged dreams and asphalt, and inextricably linked the creation of the modern woman with that of the modern city.
Book News Annotation:
Stratigakos (architecture, State U. of New York, Buffalo) traces the network of women's spaces in Berlin from the German unification in 1871 through the fall of the monarchy in 1918, including women's building projects that incorporated female clients, designers, and architects. Topics include remapping Berlin, the politics of clubhouse architecture, single women and the new domestic architecture, exhibiting the New Woman, and the architecture of social work. This title will not only interest architectural historians but feminist and social historians as well. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A revelatory look at the residences of Adolf Hitler, illuminating their powerful role in constructing and promoting the dictatorandrsquo;s private persona both within Germany and abroad
Adolf Hitlerandrsquo;s makeover from rabble-rouser to statesman coincided with a series of dramatic home renovations he undertook during the mid-1930s. This provocative book exposes the dictatorandrsquo;s preoccupation with his private persona, which was shaped by the aesthetic and ideological management of his domestic architecture. Hitlerandrsquo;s bachelor life stirred rumors, and the Nazi regime relied on the dictatorandrsquo;s three dwellingsandmdash;the Old Chancellery in Berlin, his apartment in Munich, and the Berghof, his mountain home on the Obersalzbergandmdash;to foster the myth of the Fanduuml;hrer as a morally upstanding and refined man. Author Despina Stratigakos also reveals the previously untold story of Hitlerandrsquo;s interior designer, Gerdy Troost, through newly discovered archival sources.
At the height of the Third Reich, media outlets around the world showcased Hitlerandrsquo;s homes to audiences eager for behind-the-scenes stories. After the war, fascination with Hitlerandrsquo;s domestic life continued as soldiers and journalists searched his dwellings for insights into his psychology. The bookandrsquo;s rich illustrations, many previously unpublished, offer readers a rare glimpse into the decisions involved in the making of Hitlerandrsquo;s homes and into the sheer power of the propaganda that influenced how the world saw him.
About the Author
Despina Stratigakos is associate professor of architecture and director of the Gender Institute at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.
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Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » History » Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)