It features new readings of some familiar names - Bertolt Brecht, Le Corbusier, Vladimir Mayakovsky - and much more on the lesser known, quotidian modernists of the 20th century.
The chapters range from a study of industrial and brutalist aesthetics in Britain, Russian Constructivism in architecture, the Sexpol of Wilhelm Reich in film and design, and the alienation effects of Brecht and Hanns Eisler on record and on screen. Against the world of 'there is no alternative', this book talks about things we haven't done yet, in the past tense.
Other books in this series. Capitalist Realism Mark Fisher. Add to basket. One Dimensional Woman Nina Power.
Militant Modernism Owen Hatherley. Fear of Music David Stubbs. Cold World Dominic Fox.
Send Them Victorious David Stubbs. Review quote With svelte prose, agile wit, and alarming erudition, Owen Hatherley pries open the prematurely closed case of early 20th Century modernism. This slim and shapely, ideas-packed and intensely-felt book is neither a misty-eyed memorial nor a dour inquest, but a verging-on-erotic mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Owen Hatherley’s Militant Modernism
Rediscovering the enchantment of demystification and the sexiness of severity, Hatherley harks forward to modernism's utopian spirit: critical, radically democratic, dedicated to the conscious transformation of everyday life, determined to build a better world. The book is short and brutal in its prose. There are some tough and biting commentaries offered here. But it is revisionist in the What would socialist modernism - in our present - look like?
But it is revisionist in the best sense and realizes that - to move forward - we need to grasp a past without the nostalgia or simplistic interpretation of heritage. Jun 07, Michael rated it really liked it. I fully support Hatherley's attempt to recuperate Modernism's engagement with the everyday, but this book is incredibly scattershot.
While it is certainly true - as Hatherley claims in the introduction - that one could read these chapters in any order, this means they don't add up to a book-length narrative, instead each making the same argument with different evidence. Jun 27, Steven Pilling rated it liked it. I enjoyed this book but not as much as bleak or guide to the new ruins. Hatherley can master an arguement and he starts at 90 miles an hour before hitting top speed. Jan 12, Robbie Williams rated it did not like it.
Militant Modernism : Owen Hatherley :
I found it unbearably pretentious, and not very well structured. Oh well Mar 13, Becketted rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. Probably the most influential book I'll read all year. One of the few instances when I can honestly say a book changed the way I look at the world. Jennifer Burns rated it really liked it Mar 29, Graeme rated it really liked it Feb 06, Vassilchik rated it it was amazing Jun 24, BW Diederich rated it it was amazing Jan 30, Alistair Baillie rated it really liked it Jun 20, Lara Corona rated it it was amazing Jan 01, Andy Lockhart rated it really liked it Jul 14, Joshua Disneyq rated it it was ok Jun 26, Guy Mankowski rated it it was amazing Aug 15, Gavin Wright rated it liked it Dec 27, Tim rated it really liked it Jun 20, Alena rated it really liked it Apr 16, Greg rated it really liked it Apr 16, Craig Hopper rated it really liked it May 28, Leanne rated it really liked it Aug 07, Eleanor Gill rated it liked it Dec 16, Olli Thomson rated it really liked it Jul 25, We can therefore recognize the spirit of Modernism in past, present, and future.
The irony of this is patent: modern architecture did not catch on in the very birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Photograph by Richard Pare. Hatherley also does a brilliant job in telling the Soviet story, a monumental episode that has often been glossed over or omitted entirely in modern architecture history books.
Yet the political climate within which Constructivism conceptually coalesced should under no circumstances be excised from the conversation. Militant Modernism excels as a work of contextual and social history.