Twice in a Lifetime: From Soap to Skyscrapers

Charles Luckman, Author W. W. Norton & Company $22.5 (416p) ISBN 978-0-393-02584-2
In this memoir, Luckman recalls that at age nine he dreamed of becoming an architect, but during the Depression he sold newspapers and merchandised soap ``temporarily.'' He raced up the business ladder, however, becoming president of Pepsodent at age 30 and of Lever Brothers at 37, overseeing among other activities construction of the firm's New York headquarters, Lever House, which is a landmark example of office-building design. Resigning in a policy dispute, he turned at last to architecture and projects that helped define the look of postwar America: Edwards Air Force Base, Disneyland, New York's Madison Square Garden, Boston's Prudential Center, the NASA Spacecraft Center in Houston. This is an up-from-poverty American success story, but it's all business, with World War II, a wife and three sons barely mentioned. Luckman recreates entire conversations with his superiors, subordinates, clients, government officials, as he solves, decade after decade, seemingly insoluble problemsa miracle of memory in an extraordinary career. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988
Release date: 06/01/1988
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