Friday, December 30, 2005

Dept. of What Thou Lovest Well is Remaindered

Diminished Capacity
A novel by Sherwood Kiraly

I just got a Christmas card from Sherwood Kiraly. He must be one of the last in America to send Christmas cards through the regular mail, with pictures of the family and so on. And it's not because he doesn't do email. It just one of those things about Sherwood.

So this is my Christmas card. Dear Sherwood, I came upon a copy of your novel, Diminished Capacity in a used bookstore, I bought it and read it, and loved it. I realize I'm a little behind the curve here (since you published it a decade ago) , and I probably shouldn't say I liked it better than Big Babies, which I liked a lot, because writers don't usually like it when you like an earlier book more than a newer one. And maybe it's not a better book, just that I felt closer to the story and the characters in D.C.

Anyway, it's terrific, I had a great time reading it, and thanks for writing it. If I were you, I'd be proud to have written it.

For those people looking in who aren't Sherwood, this novel is a lot of fun--there's a solid and funny and fast moving story, well-crafted (everything pays off) and appealing, well-rendered characters, stylishly told in a gentler kind of Vonnegut way. (Although when I think of Sherwood and Vonnegut, I remember my copy of Slaughterhouse Five he borrowed in college and returned all bent up. That was a first edition, Sherwood. Do you realize what it would be worth now, unbent? Not as much as some of those baseball cards, but still...)

So as I was saying, it's very midwestern and would make a terrific movie, the kind that actually got made in the 60s and 70s. But on the page, it's the kind of a novel you see as a movie while you're reading, which is also fun. The story does involve baseball cards, love lost and found, and diminished capacities redeemed. And fish poetry, of course. That's in all your midwestern authors. Twain, Sinclair Lewis, Sherwood Anderson, F. Scott Fitzgerald... Ernest Hemingway and the fish poetry of the Big Two-Hearted River up in Michigan.

The thing about books is, they're news that stays news. (Another midwesterner said that.) So treat yourself to this one. It definitely won't hurt you.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A musical picnic in the 1930s Posted by Picasa
Holiday Gift Books from 2005: Social Studies

Brother, Can You Spare Me
Some Time

by William S. Kowinski

THE MARCH OF SPARE TIME: The Problem and Promise of Leisure
in the Great Depression
by Susan Currell
University of Pennsylvania Press

I highly recommend this absorbing and revelatory book. Though her subject seems narrow, Currell traces the relationships of prevailing thought that shaped a wide range of policies affecting all of us to this day.

It also seems an odd if not frivolous subject—leisure in the Great Depression? We are used to a different emphasis in books on the 1930s, as in Malcolm Cowley’s sharp and steady memoir, The Dream of the Golden Mountains, which I’ve recently read. The spectre of vast unemployment, drought, malnutrition, incipient revolution and half a million men a year riding boxcars, would seem to make the issue of leisure irrelevant, or even perverse.

But beginning in the late 1920s it was a concern, and not applied to the rich or leisure classes, but to the working class. The industrial revolution was transforming the country, and even with the Depression between the 20s and 40s, it continued (many innovations and inventions were actually created in the 30s but would not make their impact until later.) Greater mechanization would inevitably lead to shorter work days and weeks, and what were workers going to do in the slack time?

And if you were unemployed, you had lots of time on your hands. Still, many families made it through the Depression with difficulty but basically intact. The powers that be worried about their idle hands as well.

There was a lot of class and other bias involved in how the question was approached, going back to late 19th century immigration. As Currell tells the story, much of the concern had to do with the science and pseudo-science of the day, including eugenics.

(One reason I prefer the old designation “social studies” to “social science” is that these young disciplines don’t seem like science to me, and too often engaged in presumptuous social engineering. What Currell writes about in this book only further convinces me.)

The social engineers wanted to divert the non-leisure classes to good and healthful use of their downtime, rather than bad. What was bad? It was Trouble, right here in River City, with a capital T, that rhymes with P, that stands for Pool. And worse.

The results were not always nefarious: public parks beginning in the 1890s, then amusement parks, family sports, board games, and the sand box. (Not much about marching bands, though, despite the title.) Still, the theories of eugenics, sex differences (movies were good for men but “morally corrupting” for women), race and class are chilling, even when they fostered reforms, like the expanded role of public libraries for "self-improvement."

This is a very different take on a fascinating period of history just outside the memory of most of us today, but one which has many lessons for our time, and quite probably our future.

WEIGHING THE WORLD: The Quest to Measure the Earth
by Edwin Danson
Oxford University Press

This sort of book, combining science and history, has become quite popular, with a version often turning up on PBS at some point. Danson has previously written about how Mason and Dixon surveyed their famous line. This time he takes on a bigger subject---the entire world. As more of it was being explored and more money dependent on trade in the 18th century, accurate maps became essential. For real accuracy, larger questions had to be answered, including the shape and size of the planet itself.

There is plenty of history and some science and adventure in this chronicle for the general reader. The prose is sometimes a bit fevered and strained, but also has its shining moments. Danson presents context, description and background, though not much personality. Fans of popular history should find it congenial.


by Gerard J. DeGroot
Harvard University Press

This biography of the atomic bomb has to be ranked as one of the best and most important books published this year. Making deft use of accumulated history and new information from Soviet archives, DeGroot, Professor of Modern History at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, writes with grace and economy of a 60-year history still unfolding. More HERE.

BORN LOSERS: A History of Failure in America
by Scott A. Sandage
Harvard University Press

From the 19th century of Emerson and Thoreau (the first and most paradigmatic "born loser" in the book) to the formulation of the American Dream in 1931 and presumably through the Dale Carnegie-redux 1980s of "market yourself" which is still with us, America has defined losers in economic terms, yet attributed that losing to personal character failure. We continue to do this today, '>Scott Sandage writes, "because a century and a half ago we embraced business as the dominant model for our outer and inner lives." MORE HERE

by Jeffrey D. Sachs

Penguin Press

Concerning the world's future, Jeffrey Sachs in his new book offers convincing proof and a practical plan for addressing and essentially ending poverty in our time. We've known since President Kennedy said so in his Inaugural Address in 1961 that eradicating poverty is within our power. This book, which is both based on information gathered for the UN Millennium Project and is the basis for the 20 year effort inaugurated by that project this year to eliminate poverty, offers the blueprint for actually doing it. At very little cost to the wealthy nations and their citizens.

By Russell Muirhead

Harvard University Press

An Associate Professor of Government at Harvard, Muirhead examines some of these knotty common issues ("Can we each get our due while at the same time contributing to the common good?" ) as problems in political theory. This book examines philosophical approaches to the issues of work, the individual and society, from Plato and Aristotle, through John Stuart Mill and Betty Friedan. This is basically a scholarly work, well-organized and quite readable in style. It is a solid contribution, a thorough background that raises the pertinent issues, though few readers are likely to find it the last word on their own concerns. MORE HERE.

How American Hospitals Shape the End of Life
By Sharon R. Kaufman

The spectacle of demonstrations and the political as well as judicial intervention in the decision to withdraw life support from Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman who was kept alive in a persistent vegetative state for more than a decade, is a dramatic illustration of many issues and emotions that Sharon R. Kaufman addresses in "And a Time to Die." For when hospitals can prolong most organ functions indefinitely, decisions can hinge on such apparently straightforward yet suddenly uncertain concepts as recovery, responsiveness, personhood and life itself. MORE HERE.

You can search for new and used books at Powells bookstore using the search box on this page. If you order anything after linking from here, this site gets a cut. Thanks.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

by Dutch company Submarine, at Doors of Posted by Picasa
Holiday Gift Books from 2005: Design & the Future

The Things of Shapes To Come
by William S. Kowinski

by Bruce Sterling
Mediawork Pamphlet Series
The M.I.T. Press

I tend to see the future in terms of story, while real professional futurists see it in terms of design. (Then there’s Star Trek, which sees it as both. I know, you don’t want to hear about Star Trek.)

As a science-fiction writer and a futurist, Bruce Sterling also sees it as both. This particular slim but very full of pith and moment book (under 150 pages) is about designing---and redefining---things, as leading the design of the future.

Things, as created objects, and more. “Properly understood, a thing is not merely a material object, but a frozen technosocial relationship. Things have to exist in relationship with an organism: the human being.” Though this book comes pre-underlined and highlighted, that’s a quote I lifted all on my own.

But things are not generic. They are, for example, artifacts, machines, products, gizmos, spimes and arphids. My spell-check doesn’t like spimes and arphids, they come pre-underlined in red, but that’s because these are new words Sterling coins to extend the technosocial relationships into the present and future characterized by new proportions of physicality and information.

This is all pretty fascinating, especially when Sterling links the design future to the sustainable society he understands as the only lengthy future possible for civilization, though he assumes this more than makes a case for it. There are real designers referenced---the section on Raymond Loewy, for example, is informative and entertaining. I like the brisk elegance and wit of Sterling’s prose, so I went along for the ride even when I wasn’t quite sure where I was going, or even where I’d been.

Of the stuff I understood, I found some revelatory, some reassuringly what I believe is so, and some I’d like to argue about. Oddly, for a book that articulates the changes and possibilities of the Internet and information technology, the book doesn’t name a website for the discussions this book prompts. (However, Sterling is a principal of Viridian Design , with a website where more of his entertaining commentary can be found.)

Here’s one of the parts I like: “ A SYNCHRONIC SOCIETY sets high value on the human engagement with TIME…we are not objects, but processes. Our names are not nouns, but verbs.” Though Sterling disses Buckminster Fuller later in his book without naming him (specifically Fuller's “Utopia or Oblivion” choice, which he topples partly by constricting the definitions), I seem to recall that it was Fuller who famously said, “I seem to be a verb.”

Anyway, before this becomes longer than the book, Shaping Things is a highly recommended read, and a great gift for “designers and thinkers, engineers and scientists” (I’m copying the cover now) and anyone on your list interested in how information technology is changing us, and its role in designing the future. Because that’s what's on these folk's minds, that’s what the buzz is going to be, and besides it’s, you know, short.

MAKING THINGS PUBLIC: Atmospheres of Democracy
Edited by Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel
M.I.T. Press

As Shaping Things is short, this book is long---really, really long. Well over a thousand pages. But at only fifty bucks, it’s a truly great deal. It’s a compendium of fascination, an anthology of great photos, illustrations and pieces of prose you are unlikely to find anywhere else.

My first browsing foray took me to Richard Powers describing his process on his novel about the personhood of technology’s freak child, the corporation, and its relationship to the personhood of people; a chronicle of the role of photography in the human-Great Ape relationship, and another about the contemporary obelisks of Stockholm, attractive, oddly iconic and mysterious objects which also visually monitor urban water quality. And an essay on Northwest Coast Native art (which I actually know something about---and recognized people in the photo.)

I’m sure that the editors have a carefully worked out progression of arguments about making, unmaking, remaking, assembling (as in assembly lines and also the state assembly), disassembling and dissembling, of things as they define public relationships. But at least for the first many hours, my guess is this book’s main appeal is in its gorgeous variety, a browser’s paradise, a dilettante’s delight, a playground of ideas and images ultimately relating to contemporary and future design and technosocial meaning, including especially the political---a different emphasis of Sterling’s schema.

More than a hundred writers are represented (including relevant excerpts from the likes of Melville, Hobbes and Jonathan Swift)—philosophers, scientists, political scientists, anthropologists, sociobiologists, artists and scholars. And the illustrations are very well done, probably worth the price alone. Making Things Public is related to a show at the ZKM Center for Art and Media, where co-author Peter Weibel is Director.

IN THE BUBBLE: Designing in A Complex World
by John Thackara
M.I.T. Press

So this makes a trifecta for MIT Press, but design and the future is clearly a major theme for this publisher. The people involved are all over the world---a lot from Europe-- but as a group it's probably a small world (this book comes with a plug from Bruce Sterling on the cover.)

Still, I believe this is an important book, at least as much as Sterling's, and it's also fascinating to read. So it's a highly recommended choice from earlier in the year.

Thackara skewers conventional wisdom and many guiding delusions of the digital revolution with pungent facts, while noting contrarian trends and suggesting greater possibilities with all the elusive precision of aphorism. His intent goes beyond analysis. Director of a design firm called Doors of Perception, headquartered in Amsterdam, Thackara uses 10 principles to organize his ideas about "sustainable and engaging futures and the design steps we need to take to realize them."

The tech revolution didn't lead to the paperless office, nor to eradicating business travel or product transport (in fact, it created much more), and many plans for future uses, such as implanting computers in appliances and "smart" buildings, seemed doomed to equally dour unintended consequences. Nor does technology exist in a valueless vacuum. For all its vaunted efficiencies, like most consumer products it involves vast waste: It takes 15 to 19 tons of energy and materials to make one desktop computer. Cyberspace may seem ethereal but Internet computing alone may soon use as much power as the whole U.S. economy did in 2001. "We've built a technology-focused society that is remarkable on means," Thackara writes, "but hazy about ends."

The ends are near, though Thackara is not so indelicate to say so, but he does point out that we're using up the planet with incredible rapidity, even as we refuse to face the greatest threat that may very well dominate human history for the next century: the climate crisis. Instead, he accentuates the positive. Some 80 percent of environmental impact is determined by design, and "If we can design our way into difficulty, we can design our way out. ... Designing is what human beings do."

"Sensitivity to context, to relationships, and to consequences are key aspects of the transition from mindless development to design mindfulness," he writes. This includes paying "close attention to the natural, industrial, and cultural systems," and material and energy flows. It means focusing on services over things, and treating place, time and cultural difference as positive values rather than obstacles. " 'Out of control' is an ideology," he writes, "not a fact."

As much influenced by Italian literary artist Italo Calvino as by visionary American architect William McDonough, Thackara brings a refreshingly European perspective, not only in examples from societies consciously grappling with social implications and solutions, but in an ability to bring the macro and micro, the big picture and life as it is lived, into a more capacious and balanced perspective. His principles include lightness, conviviality, smartness and flow. "Our machines are disturbingly lively," he points out, "and we are frighteningly inert." He calls passive acceptance of technology "borg drift."

"In the Bubble" is often delightful, stimulating and surprising. Thackara may well emerge as a visionary voice for the wired era. For planners, designers and anyone with an interest in the future, this book is a rich resource of inspiration, ideas, and guiding principles as well as sharply observed cautionary tales. It suggests that what the tech revolution most needs, and may already be moving toward, is a sense of purpose.

If you search for new or used books from the Powell's Bookstore box on this page, and buy something after linking from here, this site gets a cut. Thanks.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

"Jaguar" by Andree Tracey at Posted by Picasa
Holiday gift books from 2005: Nature, Environment and Science

Encounters with our given world
by William S. Kowinski

by Mark Tredinnick.
Trinity University Press.

Mark Tredinnick calls them “encounters,” with the kind of care for parsing both words and experience that characterizes this author’s approach to what others might just call profiles of four prominent “nature writers” (another troublesome term, especially to these writers): Barry Lopez, Peter Matthiessen, Terry Tempest Williams and James Galvin.

In a lovely essay called “The Job is To Pour Your Heart Out,” Edward Hoagland writes, “I believe, incidentally, that those of us who care about bears and frogs haven’t much time left to write about them, not just because---among the world’s other emergencies---a twilight is settling over them, but because people are losing their capacity to fathom any form of nature except, in a more immediate sense, their own.”

These four writers grapple with both problems, which pushes them to more public roles as advocates and activists. They (and the author) also rebel against the usual notion and sometimes past practice of nature writing as being pretty and ornamental, or even as separating humanity from the active context of nature. They are all engaged in “Encounters with Nature” (the title of a collection of Paul Shepard essays.)

Tredinnick’s style is recursive and meditative. He burrows into his subject. But he is also journalistic enough to keep the magazine-fed reader focused on the issues that concern him and the writers involved. The result is a thoughtful book of pith and moment, a good winter’s read, with the emotional seeds of a regenerative spring.

It’s too bad that Tredinnick couldn’t include his planned profiles of Native author Linda Hogan and anthropologist Richard Nelson, with his intensive experience in one of the last remaining indigenous peoples still living close to their traditional lives in nature, because the Native perspective is too often missing from nature/environmental writing. Still, including Peter Matthiessen, with his books on contemporary Indians of the American West and his experience and practice in Tibetan Buddhism as well as his exemplary books on birds and other naturalist subjects, covers a lot of good ground.

These are writers, insistent on literary encounters in the context of their lives with nature, who produce novels and poetry as well as memoir and nonfiction, which these days is often categorized with the redundancy, “creative.”

“A writer’s job is to pour his heart out,” Hoagland concludes, "and whether his immediate concern is the death of whales and rhinos or the death of civilization, there will be plenty of chances…to do so.” These writers, including Tredinnick, do just that.

TERRA ANTARCTICA: Looking into the Emptiest Continent
by William L. Fox.
Trinity University Press.

It’s the Ghost continent, not only because its peculiarities induce hallucinations and its solitudes inspire humans like Peter Hillary to converse with the dead (as he relates in his recent, peculiar book on an Antarctic trek, “In the Ghost Country”). Besides its forbidding yet beckoning white immensities where explorers have died, and the tantalizing sense of its own brilliant mysteries at the heart of things, this continent gains new notoriety as the place where civilization’s fate is sealed in the ice: if this eternally frozen fastness were to fail, the ice thundering down will rush instant Armageddon to most of the world’s seaside capitals.

Even with Greenland’s ice melting and the Arctic threatening to dissolve, the major fear for global heating’s instant cataclyism is if the Antarctic’s mighty Ross Ice Shelf were to split and partly drop into the ocean, immediately raising the global sea level high enough to drown the coastal cities of the other continents.

But even before this possibility started to sink in, Antarctica existed for most people as stories and images, changing over time. So vast and strange was this continent that mid-19th century explorers didn’t even try to capture it in primitive photographs, Fox writes---only the scope and perspective of drawings could hope to convey a sense of the place. Even with today’s technology and the resulting mountains of information, Antarctica resists being captured. It still slips away like a phantom. Yet we know better than ever that it is not a dead place, even without penguins marching.

William L. Fox brings formidable credentials to this huge place. He’s won institutional approbation as a writer and scholar, but he also walks the walk, as a climber and Himalyayan guide, and a scout in the Arctic for NASA.

It all pays off in this book, which is at once an account of three months spent in several areas of the Antarctica, the lives and work there of other researchers, and a survey of the history of human exploration and other encounters with the Antarctic, physical, scientific and artistic. For once the adspeak cliché is appropriate: if you read only one book about Antarctica, you won’t go wrong choosing this one.


EVOLUTION IN FOUR DIMENSIONS: Genetic, Epigenetic, Behavioral
and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life
By Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb
With illustrations by Anna Zeligowski
MIT Press.

BEFORE DARWIN: Reconciling God and Nature
By Keith Thomson
Yale University Press.

Darwin's theory of evolution remains the most socially important and scientifically generative theory in the 21st century so far, as it was in the 20th and 19th. These two excellent books that advance knowledge of Darwinian evolution and Darwin himself. Full reviews HERE.

by Carl N. McDaniel
Trinity University Press.

So it's been 35 years since the first Earth Day and the world is still a mess. It's not that we haven't learned a lot and done a lot, just not enough. How far we've come in understanding the extent and nature of the problems, in devising and carrying out solutions, and especially in communicating that understanding and getting politicians and the public to listen, can be gleaned from this book consisting of profiles of eight environmental visionaries. Full review here.

by Gordon M. Burghardt
MIT Press

Professor of psychology and ecology Gordon M. Burghardt examines and analyzes the "mysterious" and "enigmatic" phenomena of animal play. A fascinating way into the realities of our fellow animals, and inevitably a comment on ourselves. Full review here.

AFTER THE ICE: A Global Human History 20,000-5000 BC
by Steven Mithen
Harvard University Press
Among other things, Mithen skillfully sums up the various discoveries and controversies over the settlement of the Americas. This wideranging approach to the latest research updates in an engaging way a broad overview of how humans became human and engaged the whole planet.
Review here.

BIG BANG: The Origin of the Universe
By Simon Singh
Fourth Estate/Harpercollins.

Despite its title, this book is not about the Big Bang or the origin of the universe. It is a history of some of the major discoveries, theories, personalities and controversies that contributed to the basic Big Bang explanation and its present acceptance. It is essentially a textbook on cosmology in Western science from before Copernicus, and a conservative one (in a scientific sense) at that. Simon Singh, best known for his TV documentary ("Proof") and best- selling book ("Fermat's Enigma"), has written a decent chronicle of the making of this theory,with an interesting through-line is the story of how science works in the real world context of personalities, professional relationships and political, economic and religious interests. Good choice for high school and college students. My SF Chronicle review here.

You can use the Powell Bookstore box on this page to search for new or used books. If you buy something after linking from here, this site gets a cut. Thanks.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Smiling Buddha Posted by Picasa
Christmas Gift Books From 2005: Arts

Contemplating Art: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
by William S. Kowinski

SMILE OF THE BUDDHA: Eastern Philosophy and Western Art, From Monet to Today

by Jacquelynn Baas, with a foreword by Robert A.F. Thurman
University of California Press

“It depends a lot on the particular artist, but I certainly am convinced that the mind in the moment of creativity and the mind in the moment of meditation are the same mind.” Yvonne Rand, a Buddhist teacher and a major figure at the San Francisco Zen Center for 28 years, said this to me in an interview. Jacquelynn Baas, this book’s author, calls Rand her teacher, and dedicates this book to her.

Baas selects 20 particular artists, from early 20th century stars like van Gogh, Gauguin, Duchamp and Kandinsky to more recent and widely known artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Jasper Johns, Isamu Noguchi, John Cage, Agnes Martin and Nam June Paik. Her rigorous scholarship and fine writing illuminate the connections between creativity informed by at least some exposure to Buddhist thought, art and practice, and the works available for our engagement (many in illustrations.)

Perhaps even better, Baas looks at somewhat lesser known past(Odilon Redon) and current artists (Vja Celmins), and at the art of two well-known women whose work is seldom examined in the same spirit as other artists, namely Laurie Anderson and Yoko Ono.

The Buddhist perspective is useful in understanding artistic intent, but even more in our role as the viewers (or listeners or experiencers), regardless of whether the artist has a specific relationship to Buddhist practice. Exploring and then focusing the meditative mind is invaluable to taking in more of what the artwork has to offer us. Baas begins her chapter on Robert Irwin with his statement: "If you asked me the sum total---what is your ambition?—basically it’s just to make you a little more aware than you were the day before of how beautiful the world is.”

That beauty produces a particular pleasure inherent in Buddhist practice, which seems pretty dour to some because of its discipline. Yet as Robert Thurman gently make the point in his foreword, “How incredibly fortunate that the Buddha smiled!”

Other Recommendations:

AN AMERICAN LENS: Scenes from Alfred Stieglitz’s New York Secession
by Jay Bochner. MIT Press.

The life and times of an American photographer, exhibitor and activist of the arts who changed the art world and its relationship to his time, providing links between Europe and America, and the new technologies and realities of his twentieth century. (full review)

AN AMERICAN THEATRE: The Story of Westport Country Playhouse
by Richard Somerset-Ward. Yale University Press.

Through the 20th century, this time touching the changing roles of theatre, movies and television in a changing nation through the story of this important and new kind of theatrical enterprise, the summer theatre: at times more innovative, and often more accessible to more people in this suburbanizing country. With a foreword by two of Westport's famous stalwarts, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. (Full review.)

DEATH SENTENCES:How Cliches, Weasel Words, and Management-Speak Are Strangling Public Language
by Don Watson'>Gotham Books

"Words can be like notes, like expressions of the soul," Don Watson writes. "They can make our hair stand up, they can lift our understanding to a higher plane, make us see things differently. They can inspire love and hope. You can see it happen before your eyes. Words can create a magic halo."

But before closure can be achieved on such product, robust parameters of total quality and competitive international best practices are key self-management and self-marketing requirements, in order to leverage vibrant pre-empowering emotional communication nodes and re-purpose functional deployment as a strategic initiative committed to an enhanced content provider environment. A personal mission statement sometimes helps.

You get the idea. It's pointed, funny and pretty short, too. (Review here.)

ITALIAN TALES: An Anthology of Contemporary Italian Writing
Massimo Riva, editor. Yale University Press.

Riva, who is professor of Italian studies at Brown University, has collected tales (mostly of the 1980s and 90s) that curious and casual readers can enjoy, while supplying helpful background and point of view for both interested readers and scholars of literature and culture. Bravo!

HERO, HAWK AND OPEN HAND: American Indian Art of the Ancient Midwest and Southedited by Richard F. Townsend. Yale University Press, in Association with the Art Institute of Chicago. (Review)

Published late last year, this is still an excellent gift book of text and photos for anyone interested in Native American cultures, cultural history, arts and artifacts.

You can search for new or used books using the Powells Bookstore box on this page. If you buy something after linking from here, this site gets a cut. Thanks.