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Tuesday, October 12, 2010


They made a book about this building?

[US Pavilion, rendering | image source]

The USA Pavilion Expo 2010 Shanghai: Rising to the Challenge "captures the thrilling experiences inside America's great hall," what it further calls "one of the top experiences at the Shanghai Expo."


I'm more wont to side with the "Innovation Consultant ... intimately involved with the contorted process that resulted in the current USA Pavilion" who, in his one-star review, basically reveals the book, like the pavilion, to be propaganda. This certainly isn't a surprise, given that the architecture surely doesn't merit a book-length study, leaving it to be a commemorative book painting as rosy a picture as possible. But don't most participating countries do the same, to a lesser degree perhaps, with their pavilions and exhibitions? This is a case of the platitudes extending into book form for those who weren't one of the "lucky five million or so of [the 70 milliono] fair-goers" to experience "the spirit of America and the splendor of an epic showcase."


  1. The "editor," one Frank Lavin, had Karl Rove as the best man at his wedding!

  2. As the reviewer who could barely spare a star for this book, I have this to say to the publishers: "I'm sorry. It's a recession. We just don't have stars to go around. You have $100 MM in tax-deductible contributions. Go buy more stars. Heaven knows, you've tried...but try harder!"

    PS David Whitehill, can you get in touch with me?


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