Christine Schwartz Hartley


    Few architects have generated as much interest as the master theorist, builder, urban designer, and visual artist born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret in the Swiss city of La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1887. Starting as early as 1910 and until his death in 1965, the man who would be known as Le Corbusier produced letters, pamphlets, books, schemes, plans, villas, cities, and even shacks (his beloved quasi-monastic cabanon at Roquebrune Cap-Martin on the French Riviera) that have revolutionized the way architects and designers conceive of themselves and their work. Traveling incessantly around the world, he

  • In Praise of Flattery

    I am not about to flatter Willis Goth Regier by using one of the hundreds of quotations in his latest book, In Praise of Flattery, to start this review in style. Instead, I will begin by saying that in cramming twenty years of research into a precious few pages, he has created a wobbly book.

    With its catchy title and easy format—nine short chapters subdivided into 128 rules such as “Flattery is spoiled by excess” (Rule 12) and “To reach high or deep, a flatterer needs time, or many times” (Rule 63)—In Praise of Flattery could almost pass as a point-of-purchase quickie. On the other hand, given

  • A Political Education: Coming of Age in Paris and New York

    About halfway into his memoir, André Schiffrin notes that after his father died in 1950, André and his mother lived on New York 's Upper East Side on only a few hundred dollars per year, well below the city's poverty line. Yet as the distinguished French-born editor of the New Press explains, he never felt lower-class: Back when his family lived in Paris, his mother had detailed the different layers of the French bourgeoisie, concluding that "[o]n top of them all were the intellectuals. That was us, and therefore there was never any question of our feeling underprivileged." Though Schiffrin