Anxiety stimulates creativity. In his new book Flintstone Modernism, Jeffrey Lieber explains how mid-twentieth-century anxiety over a perceived cultural crisis shaped modernist architecture in the United States. Lieber ingeniously relates buildings to fashion photography, advertising, and Hollywood's “sword-and-sandal” epics about the ancient world. He draws upon all of these to analyze International Style structures and the more decorative, historicist buildings of the late 1950s and early 1960s by Eero Saarinen, Edward Durrell Stone, and others. Until recently, these works—the latter in particular—were often dismissed or castigated as retreats from modernism's core values and aesthetics, or as more troubling symptoms of a larger cultural crisis.

Lieber frames his...

You do not currently have access to this content.