Delirious New York: a retroactive manifesto for Manhattan

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Monacelli Press, 1994 - Architecture - 317 pages
46 Reviews
Since its original publication in 1978, Delirious New York has attained mythic status. Back in print in a newly designed edition, this influential cultural, architectural, and social history of New York is even more popular, selling out its first printing on publication. Rem Koolhaas's celebration and analysis of New York depicts the city as a metaphor for the incredible variety of human behavior. At the end of the nineteenth century, population, information, and technology explosions made Manhattan a laboratory for the invention and testing of a metropolitan lifestyle -- "the culture of congestion" -- and its architecture.

"Manhattan," he writes, "is the 20th century's Rosetta Stone . . . occupied by architectural mutations (Central Park, the Skyscraper), utopian fragments (Rockefeller Center, the U.N. Building), and irrational phenomena (Radio City Music Hall)." Koolhaas interprets and reinterprets the dynamic relationship between architecture and culture in a number of telling episodes of New York's history, including the imposition of the Manhattan grid, the creation of Coney Island, and the development of the skyscraper. Delirious New York is also packed with intriguing and fun facts and illustrated with witty watercolors and quirky archival drawings, photographs, postcards, and maps. The spirit of this visionary investigation of Manhattan equals the energy of the city itself.

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It's got five-star moments, but Rem's not a writer. - Goodreads
It's just unclear writing. - Goodreads
There are also great pictures on every single page. - Goodreads
The writing is very droll and clever. - Goodreads
Insights on every page. - Goodreads

Review: Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan

User Review  - Clif Brittain - Goodreads

This was a wonderful book. Full of great ideas, telling wonderful stories, giving great descriptions. But what was it about? After I read it a dozen more times, I might be able to tell you. Some clues ... Read full review

Review: Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan

User Review  - Nick - Goodreads

Amazing history of New York through an architect's lens. The history of Coney Island and Rockefeller Center are truly fascinating and Koolhaas' invigorating and passionate way of writing about these topics really pull you in. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
9
Prehistory
13
The Technology of the Fantastic
29
Copyright

15 other sections not shown

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About the author (1994)

Rem Koolhaas is the internationally known architect, a founder of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (O.M.A.) in Rotterdam, and author of the critically acclaimed S,M,L,XL.