A lively, unique, and accessible cultural history that explores our cities in a new way as expressions of ideas, often conflicting, about how we should live, work, play, make, buy, and believe
Beginning as visionary concepts, the blue-prints for the world we live in today sometimes utopian, sometimes outlandish, always controversial were gradually adopted and constructed on a massive scale in international cities from London to Dubai to Ulan Bator to Los Angeles. Wade Graham uses the lives of the pivotal dreamers behind these archetypes, as well as their acolytes and antagonists, to deconstruct our urban landscapes the houses, towers, civic centers, condominiums, malls, boulevards, highways, and spaces in between exposing the ideals and ideas embodied in each.
Through in-depth portraits that take us from the baroque fantasy villages of Bertram Goodhue to the superblocks of Le Corbusier s Radiant City to the pseudo-agrarian dispersal of Frank Lloyd Wright s Broadacre City, our upscale leafy suburbs, downtown skyscraper districts, infotainment-driven shopping centers, and sustainable eco-developments are seen as never before. In this elegantly designed and illustrated book, Graham uncovers the original plans of brilliant, obsessed, and sometimes megalomaniacal designers, revealing the foundations of today s varied municipalities.
Dream Cities is nothing less than a field guide to our modern urban world.
Praise for Wade Graham s American Eden
Mr. Graham recounts his tale with considerable verve and a vast erudition in the history of gardening and the arts generally. . . . Among much else, Mr. Graham shows us that the history of how our nation grew can be found in what it has grown. Wall Street Journal
A blazingly fresh, critical, and ecologically astute masterwork. Booklist (starred review)
Enjoyable . . . well researched, posing an interesting historic tie from the past to the present. Washington Post
Informative and absolutely engrossing . . . an astute analysis and, ultimately, a joyous celebration of four hundred years of ingenuity and vision. Ross King, author of Brunelleschi s Dome
We are what we plant, LA-based writer Wade Graham posits in his history of gardens. When he isn t explaining the economic and cultural influences, he crafts fascinating profiles. . . . An engaging look at our own pieces of paradise. Los Angeles Magazine"