COMMUNITY AND PRIVACY by

COMMUNITY AND PRIVACY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Nature makes man. Man makes culture. Culture makes man. Man destroys nature."" So runs a scarifying, if shady, syllogism from Kenneth Rexroth, and it's also the theme of a highly technical but hugely unsettling sermon as preached here architect-authors Chermayeff and Alexander. They decry not only the urban mess around us and the monotony of push-button experience in our mechanized, mass-produced, mass-consumed environment- now mostly local, but tomorrow global. They also ndict the insidious illusion of comfort and convenience it engenders and the resultant imbalance between public and private needs, with the latter getting set to disappear like the dodo. Through a series of editorials, exhortations and extracts out of everybody (e.g. Adam Smith, Le Corbusier, Mumford, even JFK), they pinpoint the problem: how to define and develop a principle of internal and external organization encompassing a man/nature equilibrium; and present prototype dwelling plans and prescriptions whereby hierarchical values are established, controls lowered on ""supercolossal"" unessential, and art and science finally adapted to the realities and requirements of the biotechnic age. In short, a humdinger of a humanist program and appeal.

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1963
Publisher: Doubleday