The importance of the architect to the quality and character of any society is not usually as widely regarded as it deserves to be. While every past civilization is, to a considerable extent, recognized and judged by its architecture, its creators are in general little known or revered; it would seem as though the buildings which are of such importance to our lives have spontaneously appeared as if by magic. Civilizations are more widely evaluated by their literature, music, painting and sculpture and other useful artefacts, while architecture is merely taken for granted. In this century, however, where great and far-reaching developments have occurred which require examination and justification, architects have come to be regarded with a mixture of interest, suspicion and sometimes dismay. All this has served to transform the interest of the general public in architecture and the architect is beginning to be appreciated and valued. When they have great strength of character, lucidity of exposition and, in the view of the media, an interesting personal history as well, they have become publicly recognized figures of social importance. None more so than the subject of this book whose personality and achievement has, unlike many of his peers, dominated the first half of this century. With such figures as Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, he is recognized as a creative architectural genius. His singular individual achievement, as a native-born American, was to gather together the strands of American historical architecture and create a corpus of work which is both modern and essentially American. Frank Lloyd Wright's career, sometimes tragic, sometimes tempestuousat all times creativehas been examined and re-examined in numerous studies and articles both during his lifetime and since his death in 1959 shortly before his most famous and notorious Guggenheim Museum in New York was completed. And his life continues to demand re-examination as the progress of architectural philosophy inspires dramatic stylistic change. This concise consideration of his life and work offers a careful analysis of this complex, powerful and confident personality as well as the architectural legacy left behind by him.Wright, Frank Lloyd is the author of 'Frank Lloyd Wright: The Early Works of the Great Architect', published 1994 under ISBN 9780517119181 and ISBN 0517119188.