Lewis Mumford is widely regarded as a critic of architecture, but his true importance in intellectual history is as a critic of technology and the myth of progress that accompanies technology, making it seem as if every technological advance is a step forward in civilization. That the events from 1945 onward dispute this claim would seem evident, but themselves are brushed over in favor of the prevailing paradigm.
Mumford was the first to take a critical look at technology and its accompanying mythos, and even though this book was later surpassed by his masterpiece, The Myth of the Machine, it is still worth reading for its approach to the tenor of its time (written during the Depression).
You can safely ignore the last chapters when Mumford attempts to offer an alternative to the technological society. Like most critics, he is mercifully short on alternatives. (Considering what alternatives were given humanity over the centuries, you can understand why I said that.) Until we truly understand technology and the role it has taken in our lives, we will be no closer to a solution than Mumford was in the Thirties.
For anyone who wishes to study the intellectual history of the West, this is an indispensible volume.