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This book is less a history of demolition and more a batch of profiles of important and strange people in the demolition or development field. The characters are vivid - the Volks tearing down early 20th century New York, Haussmann plowing through Second Empire Paris, and perhaps the most interesting, the Loizeaux family, a much mythologized demoltion family. But Byles is way too determined to make these people seem like artistes, 'demolitionists' as he has it, and he misses the real point in al...
Some places it was more interesting that I would have thought. Other places less so. But overall a good read.
Rubble is a popular history of sorts of the industry of demolition. In many ways it’s a curious book, blending high brow magazine writing with quasi-academic verse, thus mixing newspaper-style reporting, and its emphasis on facts, figures and spectacle, with the high philosophy of Walter Benjamin, Jean Baudrillard, and others. The style of writing kind of works, but it does drift into pretentiousness in more than a few places. Some of the case material is fascinating, for example in relation to
There's so much fascinating information here - he essentially takes events that anyone who's read a little urban history knows, like the Hausmann plan and building removal in Detroit, and fills in exactly how and by whom they were carried out.Buuuut it's a postmodern cultural analysis, not the historic or journalistic account I was expecting...like, I'm pretty sure if you added up all the named people in the text, you'd get more French philosophers than historic preservationists. There are many
Clearly written, incredibly informative, wonderfully snarky at times. I'd read anything and everything Jeff Byles writes. Of particular interest to me were the chapters on Detroit and Paris. If you share my interests in architecture, sociology, and public history, I highly recommend checking this book out.
This is a fascinating subject -- how buildings are demolished and how all that stuff is carted away, with many good historical anecdotes and warnings about environmental damage, plus a lot of emphasis on explosive demolition. But as a piece of writing, I fear it was a little too long-winded and rambling. It could have used some partial demoliton of its own.
Ok book. Author is for retaining old buildings. A little preachy.
Wow. You have no idea, seriously. There's amazing, fascinating stuff in this book.
this book is about the history old demolition world.i used this for my research as well...good start for a student like me...happy reading ^^
Everything is disposable.
Good history. The discussion on the revitalization of Paris almost made me cry. Neither older, nor newer is always better.