Selected by "Choice" magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title
for 2010Nowhere in the world is there a greater concentration of
significant skyscrapers than in New York City. And though this
iconographic American building style has roots in Chicago, New York
is where it has grown into such a powerful reflection of American
commerce and culture.In "Skyscraper: The Politics and Power of
Building New York City in the Twentieth Century," Benjamin Flowers
explores the role of culture and ideology in shaping the
construction of skyscrapers and the way wealth and power have
operated to reshape the urban landscape. Flowers narrates this
modern tale by closely examining the creation and reception of
three significant sites: the Empire State Building, the Seagram
Building, and the World Trade Center. He demonstrates how
architects and their clients employed a diverse range of modernist
styles to engage with and influence broader cultural themes in
American society: immigration, the Cold War, and the rise of
American global capitalism."Skyscraper" explores the various wider
meanings associated with this architectural form as well as
contemporary reactions to it across the critical spectrum.
Employing a broad array of archival sources, such as corporate
records, architects' papers, newspaper ads, and political cartoons,
Flowers examines the personal, political, cultural, and economic
agendas that motivate architects and their clients to build ever
higher. He depicts the American saga of commerce, wealth, and power
in the twentieth century through their most visible symbol, the
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