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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars

on 27 May 2014
Of course this subject has been covered many times, in larger books. (sometimes lumbering and over worded) I've read a lot of them, or tried at least. What is nice is the 'Shire' format. In the UK, they have always been nice, easy read, up to 64 page books written by independent folks, expert in their own field. I have dozens and dozens. The content in this one has a nice 'dab' of each area, housing, houses, life style and accessories, if that makes sense.
Regarding the Levitt housing, I feared Diane would miss out on an important bit of American history, continued racism. Indeed, no mention that the 'GI bill' excluded Black servicemen from jumping up the housing list, as white servicemen did. Far into the book, at page 55 actually, in the Chapter 'Good Life', Diane tells us that as late as 1960, in Long Island Levittown, of the 82,000 inhabitants, not one was black. Levitt originally refusing to sell or rent to black families. Quite awful.
Do I like the book? Yes. It is comprehensive, and comfortable. Living in the UK, I wrongly just assumed Levitt housing was all ET type estates, with wide streets and identical houses. Indeed, other books have intimated this by their not mentioning anything else. Dianne's chapter on Architectural designs addresses this well.
I feel, and I am British after all and we had a much different Post War, that I'm making headway in understanding Post War life and design in the USA. Levitt, Eames, Ranch houses and low slung furniture all had their place. I'm spurred on, and looking again at the Shire USA books, thank you Diane.
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