Building Power, with its deliciously ambiguous title, addresses readers interested in both architecture and surveillance. It responds to a felt need for more historically informed treatments of the latter, for, as noted in the preface (xiii), everyday life today, especially since 9/11, is suffused with surveillance of all kinds. Some even speak of the emergence of surveillance societies within modern liberal democratic polities.1 All too frequently mass media and the popular press suppose that this is all new, the product of recent technological innovation. And of course much indeed is new in the scope, pervasiveness, and ordinariness of surveillance. Particularly in the surveillance strategies pursued since 9/11, high technology looms large, with searchable databases, video cameras, biometrics, DNA, and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) all playing a part, notably in built environments such as streets, airports, and shopping malls. But...

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