Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)

Broken Glass

Best Seller
Broken Glass by Alex Beam
Paperback $18.00
Mar 30, 2021 | ISBN 9780399592737

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (2) +
  • Mar 30, 2021 | ISBN 9780399592737

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Mar 17, 2020 | ISBN 9780399592720

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Listen to a sample from Broken Glass

Product Details


“Beam’s thorough and thoughtful account is both a knowing biography of an object—the house—and of its two principals, the well-documented Mies and the widely overlooked Farnsworth.”The New York Times
“Mies van der Rohe was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century, and Mr. Beam provides an exceptionally perceptive character study of this complex and often impenetrable figure.”—The Wall Street Journal
“This engrossing page turner is a portrait of two complex people and a fascinating history of a modern architectural masterpiece.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“It is a compelling book—perhaps the best narrative I have ever read about modern architecture.”—The Spectator

“An amazing story, brilliantly told . . . Alex Beam quickens your interest in every detail. His sensitive insights into architecture are matched by his feeling for psychology and for all the hilarious, petty, surprising minutiae of human relationships.”—Sebastian Smee, Pulitzer Prize–winning art critic and author of The Art of Rivalry

“Alex Beam begins with a simple foundation—a man, a woman, and a house—out of which he constructs a nuanced biography of one of the twentieth century’s most fascinating architects, a portrait of his brilliant and pioneering patron, and a dramatic tale of the impassioned battle over a work of art that consumed them both. Broken Glass is compelling from the first page as it chronicles, in delicious and sometimes hilarious detail, the mere mortals behind a Modern masterpiece.”—Mary Gabriel, author of Ninth Street Women

“Just when we thought everything had been said . . . an impressively comprehensive and moving account of the flawed architect-client relationship (and probably more) that lead to the greatest architectural masterpiece of the twentieth century.”—Reinier de Graaf, architect and author of Four Walls and a Roof

“The Farnsworth House occupies an essential place on architecture’s time line—but in the able hands of Alex Beam, its backstory offers a drama worthy of Edward Albee. Drawing upon trial transcripts, memoirs, and generations of critical appraisals, Beam offers a richly detailed look at how an apparently simple commission evanesced into an enduring modernist landmark of glass and steel. Broken Glass leaves us pondering an intriguing paradox: How does one inhabit a work of art?”—Hugh Howard, author of Architecture’s Odd Couple

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates about Alex Beam
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking “SIGN UP”, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use and understand that Penguin Random House collects certain categories of personal information for the purposes listed in that policy, discloses, sells, or shares certain personal information and retains personal information in accordance with the policy. You can opt-out of the sale or sharing of personal information anytime.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top