"Diefendorf's book is excellent history, thorough, documented, well organized, and readably written."--Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"Far-ranging...An extremely valuable contribution to planning history and to postwar German history."--Journal of Modern History
"Not only historians but students of architecture, urban planning, and historic preservation, as well as lawyers, environmentalists, and communitarians, will find much of absorbing interest in this dense but well-written history. Highly recommended."--Choice
"A fascinating account of the reconstruction of German cities following the end of World War II...Diefendorf suggests that by learning from the German experience of revitalizing its devastated cities, the United States can be more efficient in attacking urban blight in its own cities."--History: Reviews of New Books
"[A] major contribution to the subject."--American Historical Review
This is the first comprehensive study of the rebuilding of West Germany's cities following the Second World War. Most major urban centres had been reduced to rubble by the end of the war, yet they were rebuilt faster than anyone thought possible. Diefendorf presents a wealth of material on all aspects of reconstruction - from the bombing itself and removal of debris, to urban planning, architecture, and execution. Using the designs of city planners, the author examines continuities in urban planning and architecture that lead back into the Nazi era and before. The text is accompanied by numerous photographs selected from hundreds in Diefendorf's collection.