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A World History of Architecture Hardcover – Feb 25 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 2 edition (Feb. 25 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071544798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071544795
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 4.6 x 30 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #171,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


From review by Martha Lawler

This impressive survey of world architecture includes a wealth of information, and is beautifully formatted and enhanced with 570 photographs (300 in color) and 350 line drawings. A series of maps precedes the informative and well-written text. The introduction gives an overview of the design and construction of both individual buildings and entire communities, and the chapters are arranged chronologically from prehistoric times to late twentieth century. There is heavy emphasis on Western traditions, but also considerable discussion of Asian, Islamic, Russian, and pre-Columbian American structures. Architectural terms are highlighted in bold type the first time they appear and are presented together in a glossary along with an excellent annotated bibliography. Perhaps the most rewarding features, besides the stunning color illustrations, are the line drawings depicting floor plans and elevations. Each chapter presents a brief overview of historical events and social customs that influenced architectural styles, as well as individuals who played significant roles in the support, design, and construction of various projects. Interspersed throughout are separate essays highlighting particular aspects of architectural history. Not only is this collection an excellent source of information, it is also an entertaining journey through the history of world architecture. (American Reference Books Annual )

Excerpts from P. Kaufman, Boston Architectural Center

Well-known architectural historians Moffett (Univ. of Tennessee), Fazio (Mississippi State Univ.), and Wodehouse (deceased) have prepared the best worldwide survey of architecture on the market today for general readers. It covers not only Western civilization, but also Asian, Islamic, and pre-Columbian American. Clarity is the order of the day for the verbal and visual presentations, including more than 350 black-and-white line drawings and more than 300 color illustrations, much better than any other worldwide survey book on the market today...This book will replace in many markets Spiro Kostof's A History of Architecture (2nd Ed., 1995; 1st Ed., CH, Dec '86), a famous but difficult book to read and study. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers: lower-division undergraduates through faculty. (Choice ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover


In about 40 BCE the Roman architect and engineer Vitruvius declared firmitas, utilitas, and venustas -- firmness, commodity, and delight -- to be the three essential attributes of architecture. These qualities are brilliantly explored in this book, which uniquely comprises both a detailed survey of Western architecture, including Pre-Columbian America, and an introduction to architecture from the Middle East, India, Russia, China, and Japan. Written in a clear and engaging style, the text encourages readers to examine closely in photographs and line drawings the pragmatic, innovative, and aesthetic attributes of buildings, and to imagine how these would have been praised or criticized by contemporary observers. Architecture is discussed in various contexts -- artistic, economic, environmental, political, social, and technological -- so as to determine the extent to which buildings met the needs of clients, society at large, and future generations.

This book also examines the unique methods of great architects past and present. Among them are Alvar Aalto, Robert Adam, Leon Battista Alberti, Filippo Brunelleschi, Gustave Eiffel, Peter Eisenman, Antonio Gaudi, Frank Gehry, Walter Gropius, Imhotep, Le Corbusier, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Michelangelo, Glenn Murcutt, Andrea Palladio, Eero Saarinen, Koca Sinan, Louis Sullivan, Christopher Wren, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

The global reach of the text is matched by a rich assortment of photographs from the world over and a greater array of detailed line drawings than can be found in any architectural survey. The authors have created a formidable body of work that ranges over much of the world's architectural heritage and testifies to some of the greatest achievements of the human spirit. (20040101) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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 Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 20 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Bring back the missing examples! Aug. 22 2009
By Prof - Published on Amazon.com
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!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful book Nov. 8 2008
By Magellan - Published on Amazon.com
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.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
best comprehensive history of Western architecture by academics Nov. 4 2010
By Jeffrey L. Blackwell - Published on Amazon.com
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 Amazon.com
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 Amazon.com
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.