Book Reviews



Rubble -- Unearthing the History of Excavation

by Jeff Byles

Review by Richard Sheppard


A fun and informative look at the evolving, everyday practice of "unbuilding." The book describes how societies define themselves not only by what is built, but what it first destroys to create the new structures.

Covering such arcane subjects as Baron Haussmann's razing and rebuilding or Paris, the irreplaceable and ill-considered demise of New York's Pennsylvania Station, and the ongoing demolitions of outmoded Vegas hotels, stadiums, and housing projects.

This book makes the case that demolition is a much bigger deal than people realize, and any grown-up boys and sometimes girls know how much fun it is to watch buildings come down.