Synopses & Reviews
American architecture is astonishingly varied. From Native American sites in New Mexico and Arizona, and the ancient earthworks of the Mississippi Valley, to the most fashionable contemporary buildings of Chicago and New York, the United States boasts three thousand years of architectural history. It is characterized by the diversity of its builders and consumers who include Native American men and women, African, Asian, and European immigrants, as well as renowned professional architects and urban planners.
Leading historian Dell Upton's revolutionizing interpretation examines American architecture in relation to five themes: community, nature, technology, money, and art. In giving particular attention to indigenous, folk, ethnic, and popular architectures like Chaco Canyon, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Native American houses, as well as to the great monuments of traditional histories such as Jefferson's Monticello and Wright's Fallingwater, Architecture in the United States reveals the dazzling richness of America's human landscape.
andldquo;A profoundly original book based on very deep scholarship. It advances a strong argument that is likely to generate serious debate.andrdquo;andmdash;Kirk Savage, author of Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape
andldquo;Engrossing, trenchant, and broad-minded, Dell Uptonandrsquo;s lucid analysis of both notorious and unfamiliar African-American history monuments underscores their centrality to the national conversation about race relations. Scholars, public officials, and general readers all have much to learn from it.andrdquo;andmdash;Michele H. Bogart, author of The Politics of Urban Beauty: New York and Its Art Commission
andldquo;At a time when public display of the Confederate flag has generated a lively debate over race relations, Dell Upton offers fresh insights into the motives behind the construction of Civil War and Civil Rights Era monuments in the South.andrdquo;andmdash;Steven F. Lawson, author of Running for Freedom
An original study of monuments to the civil rights movement and African American history that have been erected in the U.S. South over the past three decades, this powerful work explores how commemorative structures have been used to assert the presence of black Americans in contemporary Southern society. The author cogently argues that these public memorials, ranging from the famous to the obscure, have emerged from, and speak directly to, the regionandrsquo;s complex racial politics since monument builders have had to contend with widely varied interpretations of the African American past as well as a continuing presence of white supremacist attitudes and monuments.
About the Author
Dell Upton is professor of architectural history at the University of California, Los Angeles, and has studied the Southern landscape for four decades. He lives in Culver City, CA.
Table of Contents
1. An American Icon (Monticello/The Ordinariness of Architecture/The Domestic Community/Host and Hermit/Design/Consumption/Rethinking the Landscape/The Republican House/The New American House/Heirs of Monticello)
2. Community (Authority/Metaphors/Citizenship/Ancestral Homelands/Cultural Authority/Community/Communities)
3. Nature (Neoclassical and Romantic Nature/Country Life/Place/The Primitive/The Simple Life/Act Naturally)
4. Technology (Work/Ventilation/Gender, Sex and Filth/The Technological Sublime/Producers and Consumers/Consuming Architecture)
5. Money (The Political Economy of Architecture/Proximity/System and Flow/The Social Life of Work/The Public Life of Business/The Moral Authority of Capitalism/The Spatial Economy of Consumption/Consuming Architecture/Housing Non-Consumers)
6. Art (Architects and Builders/Why Architects/Architecture as a Business/Architecture and Social Class/Style/Architect as Artist/Styles of the Self/Who is an Architect/Beyond Art)
List of Illustrations