Scenes in America Deserta

Banham steps aside from his familiar role as an architectural historian and confesses himself a delighted, intrigued, but puzzled visitor to the arid lands of the American Southwest.
What delights Banham most is visual pleasure, and this book is first and foremost a celebration of the pure visual response of a four-wheeled voyeur.
What intrigues him is the works of man – the ancient pueblos and the modern observatories, the fantasies of Las Vegas and the Spanish missions, Frank Lloyd Wright and Paolo Soleri.
What puzzles him is his response as the archetypal British tourist – the discovery that the desert is beautiful in his eyes in a way that no other landscape has ever been. This unsettling discovery sends Banham on a search for the roots of this response.

Scenes in America Deserta
Published by Peregrine Smith
(1982 ISBN: 0-87905-094-2 hard cover)
(1982 ISBN: 0-87905-095-0 paperback)

Scenes in America Deserta
MIT Press
(1989 ISBN: 0-262-52143-1 paperback – MIT re-issue)