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This book looks at architecture history in reverse, in order to follow chains of precedents back through time to see how ideas alter the course of civilization in general and the discipline of architecture in particular. Part One begins with present-day attitudes about architecture and traces them back to seminal ideas from the beginning of the twentieth century. Part Two examines how pre-twentieth century societies designed and understood architecture, how they strove to create communal physical languages, and how their disagreements set the stage for our information age practices. Includes 45 black and white images.