Quoting explorers and others (some of the sources never are identified) who found the architecture ""magnificently utilitarian,"" ""majestic,"" ""mammoth"" or ""remarkable,"" Lavine describes the homes and public buildings of different North and South American Indians. His abbreviated bits of relevant background are incomplete rather than concise, and if there is no feeling for the cultural or natural context or for the life that went on inside, matters of craftsmanship and construction details are just as casually skimmed over. The writing is pedestrian at best and sometimes downright ungrammatical; isolated ""interesting facts"" are simply tossed in parenthetically after an ""incidentally""; and the inept analogies to contemporary styles are particularly irritating. (Eskimo housewives had ""ample closet space,"" Anasazi pit houses had ""central heating""--actually nothing like what we mean by the word, the Yuroks lived in split levels and the Yaqui built breezeways.) You might as well stick with Hoffsinde.