Reyner Banham (1922-88) was a prolific, iconoclastic critic of modern architecture, cities and mass culture in Britain and the US, and his provocative writings are inescapable in these areas. His 1971 book on Los Angeles was ground-breaking in what it told Californians about their own metropolis, and architects about what cities might be if freed from tradition. Banham's obsession with technology, and his talent for thinking the unthinkable, mean his work still means a lot now, more than thirty years after his death. This book explores the full breadth of his career and his legacy, dealing not only with the major books, but a wide range of his journalism and media outputs, as well as the singular character of Banham himself.
Richard J. Williams is Professor of Contemporary Visual Cultures at the University of Edinburgh. His most recent books are Why Cities Look the Way They Do (2019), The Architecture of Art History (with Mark Crinson, 2018), and Sex and Buildings (2013).