by Tom Wolfe (1981). A wonderful essay in book-form, nay, a hilarious diatribe against the excesses of modern, i.e. Bauhaus, architecture. He describes how Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Gropius (aka the White Prince) invented their minimalist style on anti-bourgeois-principles, ending up with the soulless naked, steel, glass & concrete buildings we associated with modernism (and some forms of post-modernism). Following the rise of the Nazis, this arcane and esoteric cult of the minimal (‘less is more’) was then imported to America where it took hold among university architectural departments, inhibiting and delaying the emergence of a genuine American style of architecture. Chapter V “The Apostates” is the apotheosis of Wolfe’s book, dealing in one fell swoop with the sterility of much of modern art in painting, music, photography, philosophy and architecture. Personally, I never understood why people – including my parents – held the Bauhaus in such high esteem since most of their houses and offices were sans life, devoid of the organic, cold. Why would anybody sane want to live in such a building if they didn’t have to? (however, let it be said that two of the most comfortable chairs I own are Bauhaus designed: Breuer’s Wassily Chair and the Rietveld’s chair, built by my son Alexander; and three of Josef Albers color prints ‘homage to the square’ given to me by my father, hang in my lab). Wolfe is a gifted writer: “which is to say, the proper concern of philosophy was the arcane of the philosophical clerisy itself”, “as the Eagle screamed his supremacy in the twentieth century”.