A History of Architecture is the work of Fiske Kimball, an Assistant Professor of Architecture at The University of Michigan, and George Harold Edgell, an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Harvard University. Kimball went on to become the Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where he served for more than thirty years. There are few people more qualified to have written the history of architecture then these two.
A History of Architecture begins with an overview of the principles of architecture, which at their most simplistic are the need to provide an enclosed space from the elements. From this brief introduction the authors launch into a detailed analysis of architecture throughout history. Beginning with prehistoric and pre-classical architecture, the book analyzes the architectural principles of various peoples throughout history, from Greek and Roman, to Byzantine and Gothic, to Modern and American. This is a complete and thorough analysis of the history of architecture. Including more than 300 illustrations, the words of Edgell and Kimball are accompanied by pictures intended to further the reader's understanding of the subject.
As a history book, A History of Architecture is a massive success. The depth and breadth of this work are impressive. The writing is authoritative and concise, and the revelations uncovered in a people's architecture are eye opening. It feels very much like the authors have written the definitive work on architectural history, or at least one that will remain indispensible for at least one hundred more years.
This text is recommended for all history enthusiasts and anybody interested in architectural history.