Reyner Banham: Theory and Design in the First Machine Age, 2nd ed. (1960/1967)

23 April 2014, dusan

First published in 1960, Theory and Design in the First Machine Age has become required reading in numerous courses on the history of modern architecture and is widely regarded as one of the definitive books on the modern movement. It has influenced a generation of students and critics interested in the formation of attitudes, themes, and forms which were characteristic of artists and architects working primarily in Europe between 1900 and 1930 under the compulsion of new technological developments in the first machine age.

Publisher Praeger, New York and Washington, 1960
Second edition, 1967; Second printing, 1970
338 pages

Review (Robert Gardner-Medwin, The Town Planning Review, 1961)
Review (Dennis Young)
Review (Caroline S. Lebar, 2012)
Review (of the 2009 French edition, Hugues Fontenas, Critique d’art, 2010, in French)
Commentary (Gillian Naylor, Journal of Design History, 1997)
Commentary (Nigel Whiteley, 2005)

PDF (50 MB, no OCR)

Roger Shattuck: The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in France, 1885 to World War I., Rev. ed. (1955/1968)

8 April 2014, dusan

In this book Roger Shattuck portrays the cultural bohemia of turn-of-the-century Paris who carried the arts into a period of renewal and accomplishment, and laid the ground-work for Dada and Surrealism.

“…Then came the idea–a kind of gambler’s hunch–that the trio Rousseau-Satie-Apollinaire represented several significant aspects of the period and could reveal them better than any single figure. The idea would not die. [..] Jarry had forced his way into the group and established himself close to the center of things. He helped clarify my underlying subject: how the fluid state known as bohemia, a cultural underground smacking of failure and fraud, crystallized for a few decades into a self-conscious avant-garde that carried the arts into a period of astonishingly varied renewal and accomplishment. [..] An enormous amount has been written on this era and these men since the first edition of this book in 1958. I have taken account of some of it by changing those passages where new facts have come to light.” (from the Preface to this edition)

First published in 1955
Publisher Vintage Books, 1968
397 pages

Review (Alfred Kazin, The Reporter, 1958)
Review (Sidney Tillim, College Art Journal, 1959)
Review (Justin O’Brien, The Saturday Review, 1958)

PDF (115 MB, no OCR)

K. G. Beauchamp: Exhibiting Electricity (1997)

9 September 2013, dusan

“This unusual book traces the history of public and technical exhibitions, from their origins in the late 18th century to present day, and, particularly, how they have reflected the progress of science and technology (especially electrical technology). Not only does the author show how electrical innovation and manufacture have been presented to the wider public through this period, but he also shows how the exhibitions themselves have required technological advice. It is through this combination of roles that the importance of these exhibitions within scientific and technological advance can be understood.”

Publisher Institution of Electrical Engineers, 1997
IEEE History of Technology Series, Volume 21
ISBN 0852968957, 9780852968956
352 pages

review (Bernard S. Finn, Technology and Culture)
review (Iwan Rhys Morus, The British Journal for the History of Science)