Worthy, didactic architecture-appreciation: ""Our ways of living and thinking--our habits, needs, fears of enemies, aspirations, materialistic concerns, and religious beliefs--have influenced the kinds of spaces that we build and that later surround and include us (people). But are we the only players in this particular historic drama? Or are there other factors which determine shape and form and, therefore, spaces?"" These Abramovitz traces from post and lintel construction, basis of the primitive hut; to the first bricks, basis of the arch and vault; to the advent of iron and steel, glass, and the elevator, basis of the modern skyscraper. To the good, she roughs in the historical situation at each given time, and indicates the role of individual architects. Unfortunately, she always italicizes people--or yeomen or just plain men--and this, along with her prosy preachiness, makes learning something of a trial.