Jean-Louis Cohen
Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2011, English
Nonfiction, Architecture
6.75 x 9.5 inches, hardcover, 448 pages, 300 color illustrations
ISBN: 978030005309
Suggested Retail Price: $50.00

From the Publisher. A convincing new approach to understanding architectural developments made between 1937 and 1945, emphasizing that they were fundamental to the development of modernism.

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Paul Makovsky

Jean-Louis Cohen is my kind of architectural historian. He does a deep dive into a neglected subject—this time modern architecture during World War II—and comes up with original perspectives on the subject. He discovers many projects that are not well known—like Dan Kiley’s courtroom for the Nuremberg trials or Salvador Dali’s take on camouflage (he was all for it). And did you know that Le Corbusier spent much of the war unsuccessfully lobbying the Vichy government for work, only to erase that period in his biographical notes written in 1945? Cohen documents some of the period’s more successful examples, like Richard Neutra’s affordable housing in San Pedro, California; and Gropius and Breuer’s low-cost Aluminum City Housing—examples that we could all learn from today. War is never pretty, and Cohen shows that World War II was a key moment (both good and bad) in the modernization of architectural theory and practice.

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