Journal of Architectural Education: Modernism as Memory

By Peter Christensen
Journal of Architectural Education

Modernism as Memory (Kathleen James-Chakraborty)Universal truths in architectural history are seldom popular suppositions, but one that is likely uncontroversial is that memory is a potent force in public culture. This is the undergirding premise of Modernism as Memory: Building Identity in the Federal Republic of Germany by Kathleen James-Chakraborty, a book that explores the leitmotif as well as experience of memory as a lens for charting a history of architecture in the Federal Republic of Germany, which comprised West Germany from its founding in 1949 and later expanded to include Germany as we know it today from unification in 1990 to the present. The politics of memory are particularly vexed in the Federal Republic, where the legacies of the Holocaust, widespread destruction from World War II, and the Berlin Wall inevitably color so much of its civic space. 


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