Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians








(First Paragraph) Planning has been a part of the American landscape since the establishment of the first colonial outposts, but it was not until the early twentieth century that the field's protagonists organized and professionalized. Also a relatively recent phenomenon is the field of American planning history, which for many years was the neglected stepchild of urban history and the distant cousin of architectural history. Over the past decade, however, a steady outpouring of interdisciplinary research has garnered for the field well-deserved recognition within the academy. At a time when more established disciplines are increasingly torn by ideological differences and conflicting methodologies, planning history has not only recognized the complexity and fluidity of it's domain but has also welcomed the diverse outlooks of participants drawn from a broad spectrum of the humanities and social sciences. These two recent studies from the Johns Hopkins University Press, the preeminent publisher in the field, continue the high level of scholarship common in planning history. They should prove to be of great interest to architectural historians as well as to anyone interested in the history- and the fate- or twentieth-century American cities.

Original Publication Citation

Wojtowicz, R. (1998). Planning the Twentieth-Century American City, by Mary Corbin Sies and Christopher Silver. Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore and London, 1996, and Magnetic Los Angeles: Planning the Twentieth-Century Metropolis, by Greg Hise. Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore and London, 1997 (Book Reviews). Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 57(4), 487-489.