Designing Pan-America is an important survey of the architectural culture generated by Washington geopolitics for building the idea of the Western Hemisphere between the global expansion of US empire around 1890 and its seeming regression around 1970. It impressively demonstrates the synergy between diplomatic designs and the design of diplomatic sites. The visual research is vast and striking, a capacious trove vibrantly rendered in color. Consequently, this good read provides a fresh perspective on both the history of international ideas in action and the idea of the Americas in (mainly) the United States. However, its historiographical bridges are not as sturdy as they could be, and its historicizing landscape architecture is less extensive than its stimulating evidence deserves.

One of Designing Pan-America's strongest features is its positionings of specific US localities. These case studies show how international relations is always a...

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