Robert McCarter is a practicing architect and the Ruth and Norman Moore Professor of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of several books on Frank Lloyd Wright, and a recent monograph on Louis Kahn.
This book is not a biography of Frank Lloyd Wright but rather an investigation into Wright's philosophy of design and space. McCarter (architecture, Univ. of Florida) dulls his attempt, however, by writing a chronological narrative in the irritating manner of a tour guide, using the first-person plural "we." The reader is bombarded with descriptions of sizes and shapes of rooms and hallways, heights of ceilings, and textures of concrete slabs; there is so much minutiae that it is impossible to see the theory through the clutter. The book is filled with beautiful photographs and illustrations, as most books on Wright's works are, but they do not aid in the tour, and often we are left to our own imagination concerning the appearances of rooms and their decor. The author does offer valid insights into Wright's philosophy, but these expositions are buried under page after page of details. More discussion and less description would have greatly improved this book. Recommended only for specialized architectural and interior design libraries; general collections should consider Neil Levine's The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright (LJ 6/1/96).‘Glenn Masuchika, Chaminade Univ. Lib., Honolulu
'Writing in succinct prose devoid of academic jargon, McCarter explains what made Wright's architecture so revolutionary ... While acknowledging Wright's greatness, McCarter has not written a hagiography ... McCarter's book could have been half as long again; it's that much of a pleasure to read.' - ARTnews 'Robert McCarter ... has produced a superb single-volume work that fills in the gaps of Wright's vast influence ... well-written and superbly illustrated. The work contains a thorough index of references as well as a comprehensive bibliography. It is an excellent contribution to the "Critical Lives" series' - Journal of Illinois History