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The Great Great Wall: Along The Borders Of History From China To Mexico
Ian Volner has contributed articles on architecture and design to the Wall Street Journal, the New Republic, Harper’s Magazine, Artforum, Architectural Digest, and The New Yorker online, among other publications, and is a contributing editor at Architect. His previous books include Michael Graves: Design for Life and This is Frank Lloyd Wright, a winner of the International Deutsches Architekturmuseum Book Award in 2016. He lives in Manhattan.
I think what most interested me about it was that she identifies and theorizes a psychological dimension in walls and wall-building—that these phenomena reflect an anxiety that’s rooted in capital and culture, but that they also perpetuate that very anxiety, and do so on a mass scale.
Luc Sante’s book on life on the Bowery in the nineteenth and early twentieth century is one of my favorite books of all time. The idea of presenting history anecdotally, as close as possible to the experience of novelistic fiction—I didn’t go quite so far in that direction—but I wanted as far as possible to sit in some kind of a middle place between scholarship and journalism on the one hand, and the novel on the other.