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GOD’S OWN JUNKYARD. THE PLANNED DETERIORATION OF AMERICA’S LANDSCAPE. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1964. Small 4to in wraps as issued (27×21 cm). 144 pages with 157 photos. Some edgewear but clean, and overall a very good clean copy

First edition

Blake (1920-2006) was born in 1920 into a bourgeoisie family in Berlin, and was later forced to immigrate to England during the escalation of Nazism. After completing his primary studies in London, he enrolled in the department of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania in the US in 1941. Seven years later he became the curator of architecture and design at the MoMA. From 1950 to 1972 he was an editor, and later, the director of Architectural Forum. After the magazine shut down, he founded his own publication called Architecture Plus, and he was a professor at the Boston Architecture Center. While a great defender of the thesis of the Modern Movement, he did not hold back when it came to criticizing its later forms and the abandonment of its initial reformist spirit. He thus wrote Forms Follows Fiasco: Why Modern Architecture Hasn’t Worked (1977) and in the major classic In God’s Own Junkyard: The Planned Deterioration of America’s Landscape (1964), he censures the arrogance of the urban development of the time, a greedy destroyer of landscapes and deformer of North American cities. The anger and fury makes the style of this book look like a punk predecessor