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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to architectural styles for the vaguely interested layman, 17 May 2007
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This review is from: ...isms: Understanding Architecture (Paperback)
To condense the entire history of architectural styles into a 160-page, A5-sized book is quite a challenge, and the author has done well here.

There are five main sections, each divided into about 12 "isms". So for example the "Renaissance" section contains Humanism, Idealism, Anglican Empiricism, Baroque, Rococo, etc, etc

Each "ism" has it's own double-page spread, and the presentation is reminiscent of Dorling Kindersley books (i.e. good)

There's a timeline, and a glossary - but you might find it useful to have a map handy too!

Some of the text is wonderfully pretentious - for example: "The inlaid arch symbolically reunites the deliberately split pediment, yet also emphasises its cleavage" But I guess this goes with the territory, and in general it's fairly clear and well written.

The only thing I felt let the book down was that the printing could have been better - it's not awful, by any means, but the resolution (i.e. print screen) is quite coarse which means it's hard to see detail in some of the photographs. But it is less than ten quid!
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Location: Wantage, Oxon, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 9,168,956