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Nearest Thing to Heaven: The Empire State Building and American Dreams
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Nearest Thing to Heaven: The Empire State Building and American Dreams

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  12 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
This elegantly written appreciation of the Empire State Building opens up the building’s richness and importance as an icon of America. The book leads us through the facts surrounding the skyscraper’s conception and construction, then enters into a provocative theoretical discussion of its function as an icon, its representation in pictures, literature, and film, and the i ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 28th 2006 by Yale University Press
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Nearest Thing To Heaven : The Empire State Building and American Dreams, by Mark Kingwell, is an utterly absorbing study of the building’s iconic status in popular culture. Far from being merely an architecture book and a history of the great skyscraper, it’s a loving evocation of the Empire State Building’s multifaceted presence in our collective consciousness and the way that is manifested in things like film (not just ‘King Kong’), literature, and how it has come to be an essential part of wh ...more
Jan 13, 2015 Diana rated it did not like it
Shelves: set-in-nyc, 2015
Wow. Well, this book didn't seem to have much to do with the Empire State Building, sometimes going many pages without mentioning it. There was much talk of 9/11, the Great Depression, many pages summarizing "An Affair to Remember" and "Sleepless in Seattle" (and how the first is obviously do much better than the second), stuff about the Olympics and on and on and on...I thought this book would be about the making of the ESB, like the Gateway Arch book I read from the same series. The parts that ...more
₵oincidental   Ðandy
Jul 22, 2013 ₵oincidental Ðandy rated it really liked it
This is a book worthy of its famed subject.

In spite of misspelling (Jean-Paul) Gaultier's name on p. 36, this is an insightful & eloquently-written book. That said, it is not a book that can merely be rushed through - there are so many interesting facts, theories & perspectives that it requires concentration & focus. Good book.
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Mark Gerald Kingwell B.A, M.Litt, M.Phil, PhD, D.F.A. (born March 1, 1963) is a Canadian philosopher who is currently professor of philosophy and associate chair at the University of Toronto's Department of Philosophy. Kingwell is a fellow of Trinity College and a Senior Fellow of Massey College. He specialises in theories of politics and culture.

Kingwell has published twelve different books, most
More about Mark Kingwell...

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