BUILDING SEX

MEN, WOMEN, AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF SEXUALITY

An enchanting journey into the history of architecture and the physical construction of space. Betsky (coordinator of special projects for the Southern California Institute of Architecture) sets out to trace the role of architecture in creating and maintaining social inequality. He believes architecture began with nomadic peoples: First came the campground centered on a fire, and then the tent. In Betsky's nomadic ideal, people ``lived outside fixed boundaries and laws. Theirs is a mutable world woven together by the textures of language, art, and common agreement.'' Though primarily focusing on the relations between men and women, he does entertain notions of race and class and their intersections. Betsky's analysis makes sense of the confusing and uncomfortable buildings that dominate our lives. While men have historically created the public spaces we inhabit, women have struggled to create sense out of the domestic spaces in which they were enclosed, ``to make livable the world men made.'' Betsky notes that the divisions between the sexes continue: Though some women have succeeded in the field of architecture, more have been promoted in the ranks of interior design, a traditionally female occupation that still centers on the insides of homes and buildings. Using literature, scholarship, and art, Betsky illustrates potential alternatives to traditional modes of living. Again and again, the emerging theme is architecture's role in alienating humanity from nature, superimposing a false structure of order that has served the domination of men over women. Not surprisingly, Betsky does not provide an easy solution to deconstructing our gendered buildings. He envisions nonhierarchical structures with fewer boundaries, with flow and curves, designed to build communities of real people who interact as they weave their worlds and their futures with the fabrics of both nature and culture. Although at times excruciatingly abstract, Betsky is constantly thought-provoking and delightfully challenging. (210 b&w photos, not seen, and line illustrations)

Pub Date: July 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-688-13167-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1995

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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