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A World History of Architecture Hardcover – Feb 4 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 2 edition (Feb. 4 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071544798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071544795
  • Product Dimensions: 29.6 x 22.5 x 4.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #123,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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By Alekxzandre on Oct. 3 2010
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book with another architecture history book (Architecture: A World History, which is more of a general overview) and it is absolutely great! Although the author seems to strech some information, with sometimes makes the reading boring, it is an excellent source of information, either for an actual architect or a student. The quality is great, the writing font is big enough so you don't need to squint your eyes to read (:D). Even though it is quite expensive, the amount of information and quality is well worth it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 19 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Bring back the missing examples! Aug. 22 2009
By Prof - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This Second Edition of "A World History of Architecture" is an exact reprint of "Buildings Across Time", Third Edition by the same authors and publisher.
The difference? Price. $52 more! Just check the other book. For a while the First Edition was out of print so I was forced to use "Buildings Across Time" (I teach architecture at a Community College so price is very important to me). While I understand that the publishers have to make a profit, how is that that they can "afford" to sell this book for $41 while an exact copy of the "approved" higher education version is $92?
I welcome the addition of notable examples in the last chapter but I have a problem with the removal of many other buildings. Just to name a few that were present in the First Edition and are missing from the Second: Biskupin, Ishtar Gate, Temple of Ramesses II, Great Stupa at Borobodur, Caernarvon Castle etc. I am not sure what this cleansing is all about, both editions are 592 pages. Granted something had to give since there are new examples throughout.
I am only writing this in a hope that the Third Edition would include the missing examples from First Edition. If number of pages is fixed, just make some of the photographs smaller. Come on McGraw-Hill, you can do it!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful book Nov. 8 2008
By magellan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those big, beautiful art/architecture books that always seem to end up unread on people's coffee tables. But the book is worth reading for the wealth of good info on the buildings, and the photos are nothing less than superb. Modern wide-angle camera lenses that are used to photograph the interiors of buildings, for example, have improved greatly in the last 10-15 years, and the results show.

The most important buildings, from ancient times to modern times are covered, and the text is well done, informative, and not dry as are many books on art and architecture. One of the book's strengths is the coverage of the ideas and practices of important architects who have contributed many of the buildings in this book. The authors also do a good job of covering the social importance and context of the buildings and how they differed from culture to culture.

After reading this book, I would highly recommend Sir Nicholaus Pevsner's An Outline of European Architecture for more reading on that subject. His descriptions of important buildings are often nothing short of inspired, and he is considered one of the greatest and most stimulating writers on the subject who ever put pen to paper.

No architecture book can cover every important building, but this one covers almost all the ones I would have included. It's been said that buildings like the bigger and more elaborate Gothic Cathedrals, with their labor intensive, complex masonry facades and interiors and their ornate lead-glass windows, are the most expensive artworks ever done, costing a billion dollars to replicate today. Important buildings are therefore essential for us to understand if only for the tremendous amount of resources that go into them.

Overall, a fine book on the subject and one that compares favorably with the many other beautiful, large-format books out there on architecture. I've also seen the book for the list price of $65 in retail shops so if Amazon is selling it for $40 I would consider that a great deal for this book.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
best comprehensive history of Western architecture by academics Nov. 4 2010
By Jeffrey L. Blackwell - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For its type & audience, this is the most comprehensive of the academic histories of World architecture (with a Western emphasis). It has the same limitations as nearly all academic texts in this field, focusing unquestioningly upon traditional periods of style and almost no background regarding the political & technical changes that produce new paradigms in building technique & architectural form.

To the authors' credit, with so much to cover in one volume, their selections were superb. Here are a few critical comments (intended constructively) regarding a text that is overall superbly concise. I feel they over-represent medieval architecture at the expense of Islamic architecture ( Arab,Persian, & Mongol). Also, the 1st & 2nd Industrial Revolutions should be emphasized after 1850.

1) 12th-13th century is all Western / European medieval. Probably state-of-the art architecture of this era was Islamic -- we know that Islamic empires and Monguls were conquering much of Asia during these centuries.

2) Any history of architecture over 2000 years should include at least 3 factors which foment innovations in building techs: catastrophe (Great Fire of London, Great Chicago Fire,), environmental challenges (Venice on a lagoon, St Petersburg on a swamp), War & conquest (Hellenism & Alexander, Islamic empires after 800 ad, post-WWII rebuilding of Europe)

3) How can you discuss medieval manors & castles but not discuss the 17th / 18th century mercantile plantations of the Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish and British empires?

4)The effects of the first and second Industrial Revolutions upon architecture should be the FOCUS of 19th century and early 20th century architectural history.

5)In terms of 20th century architecture, you cannot evaluate skyscrapers without first understanding the infrastructure that made vertical building possible: elevators, fire protection, steel frames, electrical power, cheap floated glass, etc.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A critically essential addition to academic and community library Architectural Studies collections April 5 2009
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The making of buildings from natural materials is older than the recorded history of the human race. Even in paleolithic and neolithic eras there were remarkable, complex, and enduring structures as evidenced by archaeological discoveries. The collaborative work of the team of Michael Fazio (Professor Emeritus of Architecture, Mississippi State University), Marian Moffett and Lawrence Wodehouse (both of whom have extensive careers teaching architecture at the university level), and now in a newly updated and expanded second edition, "A World History Of Architecture" begins with the advent of the city state architecture beginning with the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Hittites, Assyrians, and Egyptians, then proceeds with an architectural survey of the ancient Greece, India, Southeast Asia, China, Japan, and the Romans. There are detailed chapters covering the distinctive architecture of the Early Christians and Byzantines, Islam, medieval and romanesque Europe. Also presented are informative chapters on Gothic architecture, indigenous American and African architecture, as well as the buildings and structures of the Renaissance and Baroque eras. The final four (and extensive) chapters deal with 18th, 19th, and 20th century architectural advances, as well as 'Modernisms in the Mid- and Late Twenty-First Century and Beyond'. Superbly illustrated throughout, the text is consistently informed and informative, making "A World History Of Architecture" a critically essential addition to academic and community library Architectural Studies collections -- and is especially recommended for non-specialist general readers with an interest in architectural history.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Tome of Excellent Quality March 11 2012
By Gepetto - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this for my grandson who is entering the university with a major in math and structural engineering. He loves the study of buildings and how they are constructed. While this tome highlights "architecture" in its title, it is an excellent history of buildings on planet Earth since the beginning of time. It's a heavy book and not something for ones backpack.

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