While much of the information contained in the text can be learned through a variety of sources on American (and British and French and Italian) architecture and through studies of regions and periods. I know of no other book that has brought together the salient facts of history, social life, art, fashion and architecture in brief compass, highspotting the years from 1837-1876, too often cynically dismissed with various cliches on the horrors of the Victorian age. John Maass, with text and some hundred-odd half tones and 75 line drawings, has staunchly supported his stand in favor of this vigorous part of Victorian America,- ""an enormously creative and progressive era which produced an enormously creative and progressive architecture"". The pictures are drawn from all parts of the then United States- and show public buildings, churches, homes, in cities and in villages. The flavor of the book will depend inevitably on the illustrations- not at the moment available- but on the text alone, it would seem to have a very definite place in its particular field.