The Man in the Glass House by Mark Lamster audiobook

The Man in the Glass House: Philip Johnson, Architect of the Modern Century

By Mark Lamster
Read by Mark Bramhall

Blackstone Publishing 9780316126434
17.33 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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When Philip Johnson died in 2005 at the age of ninety-eight, he was still one of the most recognizable—and influential—figures on the American cultural landscape. The first recipient of the Pritzker Prize and MoMA’s founding architectural curator, Johnson made his mark as one of America’s leading architects with his famous Glass House in New Caanan, Connecticut, and his controversial AT&T Building in New York City, among many others in nearly every city in the country—but his most natural role was as a consummate power broker and shaper of public opinion. Johnson introduced European modernism—the sleek, glass-and-steel architecture that now dominates our cities—to America, and mentored generations of architects, designers, and artists to follow. He defined the era of “starchitecture” with its flamboyant buildings and celebrity designers who esteemed aesthetics and style above all other concerns. But Johnson was also a man of deep paradoxes: he was a Nazi sympathizer, a designer of synagogues, an enfant terrible into his old age, a populist, and a snob. His clients ranged from the Rockefellers to televangelists to Donald Trump. Award-winning architectural critic and biographer Mark Lamster’s The Man in the Glass House lifts the veil on Johnson’s controversial and endlessly contradictory life to tell the story of a charming yet deeply flawed man. A roller-coaster tale of the perils of wealth, privilege, and ambition, this book probes the dynamics of American culture that made him so powerful and tells the story of the built environment in modern America.

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Summary

Summary

When Philip Johnson died in 2005 at the age of ninety-eight, he was still one of the most recognizable—and influential—figures on the American cultural landscape. The first recipient of the Pritzker Prize and MoMA’s founding architectural curator, Johnson made his mark as one of America’s leading architects with his famous Glass House in New Caanan, Connecticut, and his controversial AT&T Building in New York City, among many others in nearly every city in the country—but his most natural role was as a consummate power broker and shaper of public opinion.

Johnson introduced European modernism—the sleek, glass-and-steel architecture that now dominates our cities—to America, and mentored generations of architects, designers, and artists to follow. He defined the era of “starchitecture” with its flamboyant buildings and celebrity designers who esteemed aesthetics and style above all other concerns. But Johnson was also a man of deep paradoxes: he was a Nazi sympathizer, a designer of synagogues, an enfant terrible into his old age, a populist, and a snob. His clients ranged from the Rockefellers to televangelists to Donald Trump.

Award-winning architectural critic and biographer Mark Lamster’s The Man in the Glass House lifts the veil on Johnson’s controversial and endlessly contradictory life to tell the story of a charming yet deeply flawed man. A roller-coaster tale of the perils of wealth, privilege, and ambition, this book probes the dynamics of American culture that made him so powerful and tells the story of the built environment in modern America.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“In Mark Lamster’s nuanced telling, Johnson…becomes a symbol of America itself. This is biography as history, and it is a magnificent piece of work.” David L. Ulin, author of Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles
“A biography with attitude, a bullet train through the shifting landscapes of twentieth-century America, and a sheer pleasure to read.” Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do
“A biography that is as much literary as critical achievement. Required reading for anyone hoping to make sense of the American century, for Johnson was its house architect.” Christopher Hawthorne, chief design officer for the city of Los Angeles and former architecture critic of the Los Angeles Times
“Johnson was a fascinating and disturbing figure; Lamster’s biography, impressively and honestly, displays him with his full complexity.” Ruth Franklin,author of Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
“In this compelling biography, Mark Lamster deconstructs Johnson’s complex persona, evaluates his work and begins the complex process of establishing his place in history.” Paul Goldberger, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and author of Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry
“A fresh look at [Johnson’s] less-than-savory aspects, Lamster portrays a diffident genius for whom being boring was the greatest crime.” Kirkus (starred review)
“[A] brisk, clear-eyed new biography.” New Yorker
“The perfect addition to the aesthete’s bookshelf…Essential” Toronto Globe and Mail
“A vivid, thoughtful, illuminating, disturbing, and definitive chronicle of one of twentieth-century architecture’s most celebrated and powerful figures.” Kurt Andersen, author and host of Studio 360
“Lamster’s mesmerizing, authoritative, and often-astonishing study grapples with Johnson’s legacy in all its ambiguity…[A] masterful achievement.” Booklist (starred review)
“Smoothly written and fair-minded…[A] searching and thorough overview of Johnson’s engrossing life.” Wall Street Journal

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Mark Lamster

Author Bio: Mark Lamster

Mark Lamster is the architecture critic of the Dallas Morning News and a professor in the architecture school at the University of Texas at Arlington. In 2017, he was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. A native of New York City, he now lives with his family in Dallas.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography
Runtime: 17.33
Audience: Adult
Language: English