From Sea to Shining Sea: Places That Shaped America

Elan Penn, Photographer, Lenn Schramm, Author, George Mitchell, Foreword by Sterling Publishing (NY) $29.95 (128p) ISBN 978-1-4027-0414-7
Editor Schramm, photographer Penn and politician Mitchell team up to offer a healthy serving of Americana with this sprightly coffee-table book. The authors devote two pages to each place in their survey, covering natural wonders such as Arizona's Canyon de Chelly and Yellowstone National Park; engineering feats, including the Golden Gate Bridge and the Empire State Building; and historical landmarks like Fort Sumter and Ellis Island. The authors also include such miscellaneous spots as Alaska, Route 66 and Detroit. Schramm's descriptions of each place's significance do sometimes descend into grade-school-like simplicity (e.g.,""Lewis set out from Pittsburgh in August 1803. In Louisville he met Clark, an old friend whom he had chosen as his co-commander""). And Penn's photos vary in skill: the shot of the Washington Monument at sunset is striking, but the image of the Statue of Liberty seems pasted onto a blue sky background. Nonetheless, the overall quality of this volume is quite respectable and the book would make a good gift, especially for new Americans or those living abroad.
Reviewed on: 08/01/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
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