Gwendolyn Wright

The Politics of Design in French Colonial Urbanism

ISBN 978-0226908489
University Of Chicago Press
1991; paperback ed., 1991
Architectural History

This book focuses on three French colonies - Morocco, Indochina, and Madagascar --- that were the most discussed, most often photographed, and most admired showpieces of the French empire in the early-twentieth century. Tracing the distinctive nature of colonial design in the cities of each locale, Wright shows how French architects and administrators tried to resolve stylistic and policy problems they faced at home and abroad. Their approach synthesized modernism with historic preservation, making it clear that neither approach is free of entanglement with imperial ambitions.

Nomination for Excellence in International Architecture Book Publication, AIA
Honorable Mention for the Heggoy Book Prize of the French Colonial Historical Society

Selected Review Quotes
'Wright has redefined an important field and extended it. The history of French planning and architecture will never look the same again.'
   Anthony Sutcliffe, Environment and Planning B

'Finely textured and well balanced in resources used and judgments made. . . I rejoice that a person so qualified, so skillful, and so appreciative of its dimensions has taken up this subject.'
   Raymond F. Betts, American Historical Review

'Gwendolyn Wright's insightful book is an influential model of the relationship between colonies and metropole.'
   Daniel Sherman, French Historical Studies