What We Are Reading Today: The Alchemy of Architecture

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Updated 09 February 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Alchemy of Architecture

Author: KEN TATE

The Alchemy of Architecture: Memoirs and Insights is celebrated architect Ken Tate’s creative memoir about his life in houses. Beginning with his days growing up in Columbus, Mississippi where he was surrounded by beautiful Greek Revival houses, the book journeys through Tate’s upbringing as a creative adolescent to his early days at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta where he started his collegiate architectural career, according to a review published on goodreads.com.
There Tate struggled to keep up with the hard-edged modernism that was being taught in school and longed to design beautiful buildings with soul. Thus, his quest began leading him to Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama where he found what he was looking for in two professors, Jim Jones and Lewis Lanter, who began mentoring him. That tutelage led him to write his thesis Architecture in Search of a Soul. Following graduation from Auburn, Ken journeyed to work for the eccentric talent Bruce Goff in Texas and afterwards for Sambo Mockbee in Jackson, Mississippi.

 


What We Are Reading Today: Divided Armies

Updated 23 February 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Divided Armies

Author: Jason Lyall

How do armies fight and what makes them victorious on the modern battlefield? In Divided Armies, Jason Lyall challenges long-standing answers to this classic question by linking the fate of armies to their levels of inequality.
Introducing the concept of military inequality, Lyall demonstrates how a state’s prewar choices about the citizenship status of ethnic groups within its population determine subsequent battlefield performance.
Treating certain ethnic groups as second-class citizens, either by subjecting them to state-sanctioned discrimination or, worse, violence, undermines interethnic trust, fuels grievances, and leads victimized soldiers to subvert military authorities once war begins.
The higher an army’s inequality, Lyall finds, the greater its rates of desertion, side-switching, casualties, and use of coercion to force soldiers to fight, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.
In a sweeping historical investigation, Lyall draws on Project Mars, a new dataset of 250 conventional wars fought since 1800, to test this argument.