Luis E. Carranza's Architecture as Revolution explores Mexico City's architectural culture in the immediate post-Revolutionary period of 1920 to 1940, a self-consciously nascent moment in which elites hoped they might "fix" recent history, giving it shape and texture but also correcting its lapses and inconveniences. While armed combat had more or less ceased, the capital city and the new state remained unstable. Slow, halting, and sometimes punitive institutionalization, dependent on rhetoric as much as building projects, was ongoing.

Carranza asks some important questions for understanding this process: What kind of architecture did the Revolution give birth to? Was it indeed "revolutionary"? Reading Carranza it becomes clear that the past was not so much repudiated as partially reproduced and recoded. The strident functionalism that would thrill Euro-American critics like Henry-Russell Hitchcock did not begin to emerge in Mexico much before 1930. Colonial...

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