Breaking the Taboo: Architects and Advertising in Depression and War chronicles the fall of a professional interdiction in architecture, precipitated by the Second World War. For much of the history of their profession in the United States, architects——unlike builders and engineers, their main competition——faced censure from the American Institute of Architects if they advertised their services. Architects established models of professional behavior intended to hold them apart from the commercial realm. Andrew M. Shanken explores how the Great Depression and the Second World War strained this outdated model of practice, placing architects within consumer culture in more conspicuous ways, redefining the architect's role in society and making public relations an essential part of presenting the profession to the public. Only with the unification of the AIA after the war would architects conduct a modern public relations campaign, but the taboo had begun to erode in the 1930s and early 1940s, setting the stage for the emergence of the modern profession.

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