Endorsements

The first endorsements for The Architecture of Diplomacy were the blurbs on its back cover. It was not hard to get Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan to endorse the book because he believed so strongly in the importance of good design for federal architecture. He called specific attention to the book in his remarks to the “Balancing Security and Openness” Symposium sponsored by the GSA and the State Department in 1999. But before that, he wrote this blurb for the book jacket:

Jane Loeffler The Architecture of Diplomacy is a splendidly presented treatise on both subjects. Which is to say diplomacy as well as architecture. Beginning in the 1950s, as new nations came into being across the globe, the United States built new embassies designed as statements of recognition and welcome. Almost invariably, the new countries began as democracies, and our new buildings were intended to express the achievement and accomplishment of American democracy. As much as modernism can do, was done. If many of these buildings now stand as a reproach to existing regimes, so be it. The State Department planners of the 1950s built better than they knew!
Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan,
U.S. Ambassador to India, 1973-75;
Honorary Member, AIA

 

 

Also on book cover:

This excellent book could not appear at a more important and timely moment, when the United States faces the dual challenge of building embassies around the world that are constructed as fortified defenses against terrorism and still meant to convey the symbolic values of American democracy. The addition and appraisal of current designs that update the book’s earlier history of embassy architecture define the dilemma and highlight the need for better solutions.
Ada Louise Huxtable, architecture critic,
The Wall Street Journal [2010] This text appeared as a blurb on the cover of the second edition.

What do we, as a nation, mean to say to the world? Jane C. Loeffler shrewdly looks for answers in a crucial yet neglected place: the architecture of America’s embassies. There is no more political act than building an embassy, and no more architecturally complicated one. From the petty jealousies on Capitol Hill to the fine points of modernist design, Loeffler’s effortlessly erudite and highly readable account explains how our government has tried-with mixed success-to represent us abroad in steel and stone.
Howard Fineman,
Chief Political Correspondent, Newsweek and Analyst, NBC News [1998]

This lucid, thoroughly researched and highly original book is strongly recommended to students of diplomacy. It not only explains the political and (even more interesting) economic background to the vast expansion in US embassy building after World War 2 but raises the important question of the extent to which embassy architecture (and location) can support diplomacy while preserving the security of diplomats, evidently something which is not easy to accomplish.
G. R. Berridge,
Professor of International Politics, University of Leicester, UK [1999]

The recent bombings in Kenya and Tanzania have endowed this conscientious, illuminating study of the State Department’s Cold War building boom with unfortunate topicality. Competing with the Russians, who stuck with Stalinist structures, the Americans opted for modernism; consequently, the book’s illustrations are a somewhat damning panorama of yesterday’s avant-garde. Since the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, however, art has taken second place to security.
The New Yorker [Sept. 7, 1998]

Loeffler’s book is a very good read and tells a fascinating story: how US architects benefited from the way that modern architecture was used by their government to counter the pseudo-classicism of Stalin and Russia’s satellites… In fact, virtually every name you can think of in the modern American movement is there: Saarinen, Gropius, Breuer…
Richard Burton,
ABK Architects (UK) [1999]

I have had the good fortune to meet Ms. Loeffler, to hear her speak on this subject, to be involved in designing embassies, studying embassies, and also in reading this spectacular history…Although all countries have embassies, a United States embassy is a special kind of building. Ms. Loeffler takes us all around the world and across over a century of time exploring how the US Embassies have developed and evolved over the years. The most interesting portions of the book are in the post World War II period to the early 1960′s…We read of the growth of the embassy program and the contribution of important American architects. We learn of the endeavors of FBO to create a world-class image for America through our embassies. We learn of the challenges of designing for terrorism. Good Book.
Gregory Knoop,
Oudens + Knoop Architects (US) on Amazon [Apr., 2005]

Many writers have written about my husband, Edward Durell Stone who died in 1978. The writing here by Jane C. Loeffler about Mr. Stone is accurate, something many writers have ignored. The truth is highly important when speaking of an individual who was a creative giant. The cover of The Architecture of Diplomacy features Edward’s embassy building in New Delhi, India. Without a doubt is has been considered the most beautiful of all the embassies built in that era. Frank Lloyd Wright praised it calling it ‘The Taj Maria’. I am complimented…Jane’s book brought back graceful memories. I thank her.
Maria Durell Stone
on Amazon [July, 2010]