OVERRIDE

Naked Airport

A Cultural History of the World's Most Revolutionary Structure

Alastair Gordon

Metropolitan Books

The first full cultural history of the ultimate modern structure: the airport, revealed as never before ...

Since its origins in the muddy fields of flying machines, the airport has arguably become one of the defining institutions of modern life. In Naked Airport, critic Alastair Gordon ranges from global geopolitics to action movies to the daily commute, showing how airports have changed our sense of time, distance, travel, style, and even the way cities are built and business is done.

Gordon introduces the people who shaped this place of sudden transportation: pilots like Charles Lindberg, architects like Eero Saarinen, politicians like Fiorello La Guardia, and Hitler, who built Berlin’s Tempelhof as a showcase for Fascist power. He describes the airport’s futuristic contributions, such as credit cards, in the form of fly-now-pay-later schemes, and he charts its shift in popular perception, from glamorous to infuriating. Finally, he analyzes the airport’s function in war and peace—its gatekeeper role controlling immigration, its appeal to revolutionaries since the hijackings of the 1960s, and its new frontline position in the struggle against terror.

Compelling and accessible, Naked Airport is an original history of a long-neglected yet central creation of modern reality and imagination.

REVIEWS

Praise for Naked Airport

"Alastair Gordon scrutinizes airports as a microcosm of twentieth-century America, and it's all there--the technology, the architecture, the politics, the business, and the genius and daring that it took to meet the challenge of an ever on-rushing future. Naked Airport is as exhilarating as it is literate and informative."
--John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Naked Airport vividly conjures up the primitive buildings and intrepid bravado of pioneering aviation, the alluring fantasies that surrounded early commercial flights, the advent of fashion with high-speed jet-travel in the 1960s, followed by the intrusion of cost-butting and surveillance that turned the dream into a nightmare later that same decade. Alastair Gordon's book reminds us that the experience of flying is conditioned, more than anything, by that of airports."
--Gwendolyn Wright, Building the Dream: A Social History of Housing in America

"Reading Alistair Gordon’s splendid survey of airport architecture is like stepping into a time machine and bearing witness to all the ambition and angst of the 20th century itself. Naked Airport is highly erudite, extremely entertaining and a fascinating read."
--Carole Rifkind, author of A Field Guide to Contemporary American Architecture

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Alastair Gordon

  • A contributing editor to House & Garden, critic, journalist, architect, and curator Alastair Gordon also writes regularly for The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, The New York Observer, and Architectural Record. He lives in Pennsylvania.

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    Available Formats and Book Details

    Naked Airport

    A Cultural History of the World's Most Revolutionary Structure

    Alastair Gordon

    • e-Book

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    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    Metropolitan Books

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