Book Review: Breaking Ground

Breaking Ground by Daniel Libeskind with Sarah Crichton
Riverhead, 2004
Hardcover, 304 pages

Perusing's reviews (22 at the time of writing) of Daniel Libeskind's Adventures in Life and Architecture, people either love it or hate it. Love it for the weaving of biography and architecture, his sentimentality and his defense of his architectural style; and hate it for pretty much the same reasons. Granted that the writing and structure aren't polished or straightforward, it is an enjoyable read and a quick one at that. Also, it is the most legible writing that has ever come out of Libeskind's brain, perhaps due to his writing partner, Sarah Crichton. His usually esoteric and dense prose has yielded to a conversational tone, like he's telling his life story directly to the reader. The insights into the WTC competition and "forced marraige" with David Childs of SOM, definitely lean in favor of Libeskind, but that's expected. Ultimately, this book can offer one important thing: an appreciation of architecture. Through Libeskind's strong love for architecture - some of the best writing in the book - any non-architect can't help but be impressed or persuaded by his words, and maybe even eventually his buildings.