“Abramson uses design as evidence to read society’s responses to the notion of obsolescence, rather than as mere illustration. And the resulting narrative is one of the most coherent and powerful explanations I’ve ever read of the seemingly disparate architectural movements of the past century: interwar conservatism, Brutalism, historic preservation and Post-Modernism. . . . The conclusion of Obsolescence is brilliant. Now superseded by sustainability, obsolescence is now itself obsolete. . . .”

– Times Higher Education


“If obsolescence has been a major topic in consumerism and real estate for over a century, Abramson shows its centrality to the history of modern architecture. His saga moves with grace and precision over an extraordinary terrain . . . .  This brilliantly conceived, inspiring and eloquent book will surely enjoy a long life.”

– Gwendolyn Wright, co-host of PBS’s History Detectives


“It’s impossible to resist declaring Obsolescence timely; nevertheless, it’s impossible to deny . . .  Claiming a longstanding tension between obsolescence and sustainability, [Abramson] situates both terms within a richly detailed tableau . .  Obsolescence will appeal to anyone who takes the time to pause and think about the built environment.”

– Sarah Whiting, dean, Rice School of Architecture


“An excellent book. Innovative, penetrating, and compelling. Abramson probes an underlying idea we think we know quite well to weave a much more complicated tale about its ascendance, critique, and adaptations.”

– Randall Mason, author of The Once and Future New York: Historic Preservation and the Modern City