This tells a history of the U.S. during the late 1700's and early 1800's with an emphasis on events and people that influenced architecture and interior design.
The photographs are excellent, however I question the accuracy of the text. A couple paragraphs disagree with known experts without any comment. Some sections repeat themselves word for word. Entire paragraphs are printed twice, which calls into question the writing and editing of the work.
Finally, before I had even finished reading the book, it had fallen apart in my hands. So regrettably, what could have been a beautiful volume to display is now a bunch of loose leaves.
Wendell Garrett has done students of interior design and architecture a very great service with this modestly priced history of America's Federal style. His concise and accurate text is amply matched by Paul Rocheleau's handsome photographs.
There is so much to learn, even for amateur students of American architectural history. We hear about Palladio, Robert Adam, Christopher Wren and others who influenced the American Federal style, but we also learn what was going on in the American colonies in a religious, economic, and legal sense--all of which helped to affect the shape and style of American architectural and decorative tastes.
One of the most interesting things is learning how American craftsmen, builders and architects (many of whom were slaves) were influenced by the latest European styles. American styles in everything, from dress to furniture to homes, tended to be more plainspoken and stripped down to the bare essentials than were their European counterparts.
This is an absolutely fascinating read, and a visual treat for anyone who is even remotely interested in the American Federal style.