When this book was first published in 1979, the executive editor of the Architectural Review said, "I find it one of the most remarkable books on the subject that I have ever come across... a tremendous achievement of Pevsnerian dimensions." The author has updated this survey of Western civilization to take the reader back to ancient Asia Minor, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. He has also extended it to include the recent years of postmodernism and urbanism, the New Right ideology of the eighties, and the rising environmental concerns of the nineties. The author views the history of architecture not as a chronology of styles but as an expression of social and economic conditions; he informs us not only of what was built but how, when, and under what cultural incentives. The author's hundreds of clear and informative drawings and diagrams add to the lively, informal nature of a book that has been widely adopted as a classroom text.
Bill Risebero is an architect and town planner in London. He teaches at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London and in the London Program of Syracuse University.