cover image America Redux: Visual Stories from Our Dynamic History

America Redux: Visual Stories from Our Dynamic History

Ariel Aberg-Riger. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-0630-5753-1

In this pictorial stunner, debut creator Aberg-Riger demonstrates the U.S.’s continually expanding history via nonlinear chronology that covers ground between the late 18th century and the 21st century. In a beginning preface, the author writes that “this book is... an attempt at a new way of seeing history.” Seeking to underscore this assertion, Aberg-Riger uses vibrant, mixed-media graphic collages combining maps, vintage magazine ads, and old photographs to present a kaleidoscopic visual accounting. An early section—“A Nation of Immigrants”—discusses the celebrity power of actor Lillian Russell, and how she used her status to rally against immigrants, resulting in the 1921 Emergency Quota Act, which instated an annual restriction on the number of immigrants admitted into the U.S. A later chapter, “Down on the Farm,” details stories about California workers fighting for the rights of Filipino laborers. By focusing on time as “a continual, ever-evolving relationship” rather than an immutable linear progression, Aberg-Riger examines how each individual story tackles issues surrounding identity in politics, allowing readers to make connections and interrogate how seemingly isolated societal struggles intersect with one another. This work enthralls from start to finish, culminating in a triumphant victory that tackles censorship and revisionist history. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jenny Stephens, Sterling Lord Literistic. (May)