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Martin Pawley

20th Century Architecture, a readers guide

Plenty of books have been written about Architecture. 20th Century Architecture, a reader's guide isn't just another one, rather it is a book about such books. Martin Pawley certainly knows his stuff - he has a wide knowledge of the subject and so is able to bring new views to bear on the books he is reviewing. He is probably at his best when reviewing biographies of famous architects - if there are several of the same person then it gives a view of that person from every angle.

There is quite a bit on Nazi architecture, and how it should be judged - probably more interesting to those who remember the 2nd world war, less so for those of use born afterwards. I was looking for information on Postmodernist architechture, but Pawley's view seems to be that it is more of a lack of new buildings due to the severe cutbacks in central spending in the 1970's. Overall there is plenty of interest in this book. One might think that it would be only for those planning to read the books reviewed, but I felt that it would be useful reading for anyone wanting a wide ranging overview of architechural ideas in a compact book.