World Architecture and Society
From Stonehenge to One World Trade Center
by Peter Louis Bonfitto, Editor
December 2021, 706pp, 7x10
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6584-8
$204, £152, 176€, A276
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6585-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

From the Stone Age to today, architecture has expressed the world’s great diversity, connectivity, and adversity—as much as we have written history, we have built it.

This two-volume encyclopedia covers buildings and sites of global significance from prehistoric times to the present day, providing students with an essential understanding of architectural development and its impact on human societies.

This two-volume encyclopedia provides an in-depth look at buildings and sites of global significance throughout history. The volumes are separated into four regional sections: 1) the Americas, 2) Europe, 3) Africa and the Middle East, and 4) Asia and the Pacific. Four regional essays investigate the broader stylistic and historical contexts that describe the development of architecture through time and across the globe. Entries explore the unique importance of buildings and sites, including the megalithic wonder of Stonehenge and the imposing complex of Angkor Wat.

Entries on Spanish colonial missions in the Americas and the medieval Islamic universities of the Sahara connect to broader building traditions. Other entries highlight remarkable stories of architectural achievement and memory, like those of Tuskegee University, a site hand-built by former slaves, or the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, which was built at the site of the atomic detonation. Each entry focuses on the architectural but includes strong consideration of the social impact, importance, and significance each structure has had in the past and in the present.


  • Provides readers with a deep historical and stylistic context for many of the world's most famous buildings and sites, while at the same time highlighting the importance of lesser-known monuments
  • Includes entries written by more than 50 specialist scholars, architects, and educators from around the globe
  • Creates an intellectual framework for comparing the different stylistic forms of world architecture and the historical circumstances that facilitated the construction of the world's most influential and important buildings and sites
  • Includes numerous sidebars that explore important social issues, building techniques, and legacies of architecture around the world
  • Broadens the reader's knowledge of long-lasting historical trends that have a direct impact on our worldview today
  • Includes a chronology that covers important achievements in architecture through time
Peter Louis Bonfitto is an art and architectural historian, curator, and college lecturer. Since 2020, he has been the Director of Art Galleries and Exhibition Programming at Austin Community College in Austin, Texas. He has taught courses in art history at The University of Texas at Austin and Austin Community College. As an educator, he stresses the exploration of historical interconnectivity and exchange as well as the historical relevance of, and pressures on, the world's cultural heritage sites. Bonfitto is the co-curator of the Getty Research Institute gallery exhibition, Connecting Seas: A Visual History of Discoveries and Encounters (2013-2014), and the online exhibition, The Legacy of Ancient Palmyra (2017). He has published scholarly articles on the documentation of archaeological sites through painting, drawing, and early photography in international journals and books.


"Notable for emphasizing cultural importance over time, these densely informative volumes will attract architecture aficionados, professional or amateur."—Library Journal, February 1, 2022

"Recommended for academic library collections."—Booklist, March 25, 2022
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