Gwendolyn Wright

USA: Modern Architectures in History

Purchase Book

ISBN 978-1-86189-344-4
$29.95 paperback
Reaktion Press/University of Chicago Series
January 2008
Architectural History

From the Reliance Building and Coney Island to Disney Hall and Green Design the United States has created distinctive and exhilarating modern architecture. The buildings were hybrids that responded to ways of life that keep changing. Engaging innovations from the late- nineteenth century to the twenty-first, USA shows how new conditions in work, home life, and the public realm affected architecture --- and vice versa. USA provides essential background for today's debates about affordable and luxury housing, sustainability, avant-garde experiments, commercialism, and historic preservation. A clear, concise, and richly illustrated account that reveals modern architecture at the heart of American culture.

Advance Endorsements
'Gwendolyn Wright’s splendid book updates, revises and enriches everything we know about the development and influence of American architecture with new material, brilliant insights, and the perspective of a new century. She makes the story so new and compelling and writes it so well that it will supplant older versions to become the standard reference.'
Ada Louise Huxtable

'I am always amazed at Gwendolyn Wright’s rare ability to bring positive joy to urbanism and architecture. Her enthusiasm for historical examples inspires others to take a deeper look and to reflect. In this time of rapid urbanization that reflection is needed more than ever.'
Steven Holl

'At last, the book I have been waiting for: the story of modern American architecture deeply contextualized in the history of the last century and a half. Wright is that rare scholar who understands how intricately the built environment is laced into larger historical trends. This is a wonderful book for all who care about architecture and the long history of modern work, housing, and public life in the United States.'
Lizabeth Cohen, Professor of History, Harvard University