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When Morality and Architecture was first published in 1977, it received passionate praise and equally passionate criticism. An editorial in Apollo, entitled "The Time Bomb," claimed that "it deserved to become a set book in art school and University art history departments," and the Times Literary Supplement savaged it as an example of "that kind of vindictiveness of which only Christians seem capable."

Here, for the first time, is the story of the book's impact. In writing his groundbreaking polemic, David Watkin had taken on the entire modernist establishment, tracing it back to Pugin, Viollet-le-Duc, Corbusier, and others who claimed that their chosen style had to be truthful and rational, reflecting society's needs. Any critic of this style was considered antisocial and immoral. Only covertly did the giants of the architectural establishment support the author. Watkin gives an overview of what has happened since the book's publication, arguing that many of the old fallacies still persist. This return to the attack is a revelation for anyone concerned architecture's past and future.