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From A Cause To A Style: Modernist Architecture's Encounter With The American City

Tuesday April 2007


Nathan Glazer Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Education, Harvard University

Has modernism in urban design failed the American city?

“It's a great question,” notes Harvard urbanist and Manhattan Institute senior fellow Dr. Edward Glaeser in a review of the renowned public intellectual Nathan Glazer’s important new book on the subject. “Mr. Glazer’s analysis elegantly weaves aesthetics, political science, and intellectual history together to answer it,” says Dr. Glaeser.

In his book, Glazer reflects on subjects ranging from modernism's effect on the livable city and public housing to building design, public memorials, and the use of public space. He contends that public spaces should be designed with public use in mind - not simply to display the artist’s work. Glazer raises important questions about modernist architecture and the larger social aims it supposedly addressed—and those it has abandoned.