A gorgeous book on the industrial landscape of America as a subject for archaeological
re-discovery. It has a similar structure to Simon Schama's Landscape and
Memory, and is rich, like Shama's book, in little details and surprising
stories. The book is itself very well made: the pictures are intelligent, illustrative,
wonderfully printed. It makes a nice companion piece to the swifter-moving Consuming
Power by David Nye. "Chapter 1 introduces industrial archaeology, and
Chapter 2 discusses the components of industry, which include the natural and
human resources that are used and the social and environmental consequences
that result. Part II deals with the landscape of industry; Part III, with workplaces."
(5) It is an homage to lost craftways, a meditation on how to preserve what
is worth preserving. It reminds us that we have lost physical touch with the
making of things. It is also an aesthetic/ethical consideration on the way the
living spaces in the landscape were rearranged and ruined - the cost of wealth
then and now - in the light of the current post-industrial re-construction.