Forms of War

Many gruesome images of casualties become less sobering when one notices that they're photographs of re-creations from London's Imperial War Museum, stills from fictional movies or posed scenarios for training purposes. Still, Simon Adams's Eyewitness: World War I, part of an extensive Eyewitness series, provides an informative, picture-and-caption history lesson. Countless actual photos of trench life, tanks, rifles, uniforms, airplanes, artificial trees (for artillery observation posts) and other battle equipment and behavior are featured along with the re-creations. (DK, $15.95 64p ISBN 0-7894-7939-7; Oct.)

As a follow-up to Pvt. Robert Knox Sneden's illustrated contemporary Civil War memoir, published last year, Images from the Storm: 300 Civil War Images by the Author of Eye of the Storm arrives this fall. Alongside excerpts from the memoir appear maps, watercolors, sketches and engravings by the cartographer and soldier. Many of the drawings date to Sneden's year as a prisoner of war at the infamous Andersonville prison. His work wavers between skilled illustration and "folk" artistic imagery—though even these latter display his ability in rendering perspective, proportion, etc. Scholars of American art and of the Civil War will benefit from these visual documents, but anyone interested in American history will respond. (Free Press, $50 320p ISBN 0-7432-2360-8; Oct. 4)

In Intimate Strategies of the Civil War: Military Commanders and Their Wives, editors Carol K. Bleser (In Joy and in Sorrow) and Lesley J. Gordon (General George E. Pickett in Life and Legend) present essays on the domestic lives of six Union and six Confederate leaders, by an array of historians. Sarah Gardner looks at Mary Anna Jackson's self-appointed role as style counsel to the reluctant Stonewall; he begged her to stop sending him pants decorated with gold braiding, and shied away from her efforts to make the most of his wartime glory. John F. Marszalek examines the unharmonious relationship between General "Cump" Sherman and Ellen Boyle Sherman, beset by insurmountable, lifelong religious and lifestyle differences after the war. A limited audience of Civil War and pop culture scholars will appreciate this narrow but engaging collection. (Oxford Univ., $27.50 320p ISBN 0-195-11509-0; Nov.)

On Native Grounds

Crow vision quests atop the craggy, fog-enshrouded Crazy Mountains; the Hopi spirits' Katsina Bluffs rehearsal site for making rain; the oil-rich, many-rivered "Rocky Mountain Front," central to Blackfeet history and culture; ancient Pueblo petroglyphs strewn across mountains in New Mexico—these landscapes are among many featured in Sacred Lands of Indian America, edited by Jake Page and with 84 color photographs by David Muench, and 18 maps. Though most of the photography and text focuses on the Southwest, nexus of much Native culture and activism, the book turns the lens on other states, including Minnesota, Washington, Georgia, California and Montana. With lively writing by Paula Gunn Allen, Rennard Strickland, Charles E. Little, the editor and others, this elegant, smart case for ecologically and culturally responsible practices ennobles the conservationist cause. 18 maps. (Abrams, $45 144p ISBN 0-8109-0603-1; Nov.)

Photographer Gwendolen Cates offers a wide-ranging portrait of Native Americans in Indian Country, with hundreds of images of residents in Alaska and Florida, New York and Arizona. In school buses, rodeo rings, desert reservoirs, forests, an Alvin Ailey School ballet studio, prison, a New York City subway station, living rooms, race cars, in police uniforms, lacrosse uniforms, tribal dress for dances—in short, every conceivable American setting or apparel—the subjects of these color and black-and-white photos are not made into icons (though a portrait of Leonard Peltier is included), put on pedestals or pitied. "This book is a conversation between Gwendolen, a white artist with a camera, and a few dozen Indians," writes Sherman Alexie in his introduction. With quotations from some of the subjects, this collection is heartening in its honest, thoughtful treatment of individuals and their cultures. (Grove, $49 208p ISBN 0-8021-1696-5; Oct.) Born in Ko:m Wawhai, Ariz., in 1912, Frances Manuel continues to preserve the Tohono O'odham culture through her storytelling, basket weaving and other activities as a tribal elder. In Desert Indian Woman, Manuel relates her many stories to anthropologist Deborah Neff, who has known Manuel for more than 20 years. From growing up in a mesquite brush home to attendance at American boarding school, exposure to Mexican culture, time in the barrios before returning to the reservation, and many more incidents, Manuel relates her story with wit and perspective. (Univ. of Arizona, $39.95 240p ISBN 0-8165-2007-0; $17.95 paper -2008-9; Oct. 18)

Objects Found and Fabricated

Accompanying a traveling exhibit from the American Museum of Natural History, Pearls: A Natural History by Neil H. Landman, Paula M. Mikkelsen, Rüdiger Bieler and Bennet Bronson presents these gems in all their natural luster and social value. Jewelry and ornaments from 19th-century India, the antebellum U.S. (a photo of Mary Todd Lincoln in her inaugural jewels), 15th-century Korea, 14th-century England and seventh-century Byzantium appear alongside images of the international pearl industry. Along with selecting 225 photos (150 in color), the authors explain both "perliculture" and the harvesting of naturally occurring specimens, the biology of the mollusks that produce them and the history of pearls in human society. Gem aficionados will be taken with the book's range of size, shape and color of these ever-popular jewels. (AMNH/Abrams, $49.50 232p ISBN 0-8109-4495-2; Oct.)

The world's first team sports were invented in Mexico by the Olmec, circa 1800 B.C. Played with balls made from the indigenous rubber plants, the games shared some aspects of basketball, football and soccer and were a vital part of Mesoamerican society, through the Mayan civilization until the Spanish forbade them in the 16th century. In The Sport of Life and Death: The Mesoamerican Ballgame, editor E. Michael Whittington, curator of pre-Columbian and African art at North Carolina's Mint Museum, displays 323 photographs (171 in color) of numerous artistic and textual representations of such games, including the Mayan creation myth, the Popol Vuh. Various scholars discuss mythic games between humans and gods, the human sacrifices that followed certain games, the ball court of Aztec capital Tenochtitlan now buried under Mexico City and other fascinating details about the Mesoamerican jock set. (Thames & Hudson, $50 288p ISBN 0-500-05108-9; Oct.)

Master knife makers, wood craftsmen, basket makers, ceramics and textiles designers, glassblowers, surfboard and dogsled makers, metalsmiths and a host of other artisans have their day in Objects for Use: Handmade by Design, edited by Paul J. Smith, director emeritus of the American Craft Museum, which will house an exhibit by the same name. There are essays by the editor and Akiko Busch, studio profiles of 25 artists and thick sections on "Objects for Food and Dining" and "Objects for Interior Space," with 375 illustrations (350 full-color) representing approximately 200 artists. This handsome volume provides an overview of the contemporary American craft world, situating it in an artistic and industrial history. Smith cites European influences and important centers of American craftsmanship like Black Mountain College and Rochester Institute of Technology. (Abrams, $75 336p ISBN 0-8109-0611-2; Nov.)

An artisan's life work is celebrated in Myer Myers: Jewish Silversmith in Colonial New York by David L. Barquist, an associate curator at the Yale University Art Gallery. During the second half of the 18th century, Myers produced many objects for New York's Jewish community and the city's elite. Jon Butler contributes an essay on ethnosocial relations in the new city, and Jonathan D. Sarna zeroes in on the Sephardim of early New York, describing how the city attracted many "Crypto-Jews, forced converts who were outwardly Christian but inwardly Jewish." This admirable book, including nearly 200 photographs of rich rococo silverwork of the first order, is the catalogue to a Yale exhibition curated by Barquist, and delivers a fascinating scholarly look at a previously obscure aspect of pre-revolutionary America. (Yale Univ., $60 336p ISBN 0-300-09057-9; Oct.)

Books of the Book

Rare book maven Andrew Roth has turned his powers of judgment toward photography in The Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books of the 20th Century. Given two full pages each, the selections receive a bibliographic and physical description and a publishing history, as well as cover images and a few choice samples of their contents—there are 500 color illustrations in all. Volume one of Curtis's 1907 The North American Indian kicks off the book, followed by plenty of other familiar luminaries, from Stieglitz to Ansel Adams to Henri Cartier-Bresson to Diane Arbus and Nan Goldin. Surprises include Max Ernst and René Crevel's Mr. Knife Miss Fork, Bauhaus "phenom" László Moholy-Nagy's Malerei Fotografie Film, and Gilles Peress's Telex Iran, to name a few. Essays by six scholars, artists and critics round out this unusual, beautifully produced collection. (Roth Horowitz [D.A.P., dist.], $85 320p ISBN 0-9670774-4-3; Nov.)

In 500 Years of Book Design, British book designer Alan Bartram (Typefaces for Books) parses the rectos and versos of pages famous (the Kelmscott Chaucer) and less so (Benjamin Franklin's edition of Cicero's Cato Major), showing how and why different typesetting decisions are made. And he does so by example—this beautifully laid-out book puts commentary on the top quarter of each page, with the remainder being devoted to wonderful reproductions of the classic designs in question. More a set of self-described "personal observations" than systematic study, this 6½×11¾ book will entice anyone who reads for more than gist. (Yale Univ., $35 192p ISBN 0-300-09058-7; Nov.)

Hollywood's Golden Age and Beyond

Film and theater critic Clive Hirschhorn tells the stories behind two major motion picture studios that epitomized the Golden Age of Hollywood in The Columbia Story and The Universal Story; he studies the works of these studios' tycoons and chronicles each film made, with numerous pictures and facts. Each year of the companies' existences is displayed showing the movies produced and reviews of the major films of that year. All the films that earned or were nominated for an Oscar appear in a timeline at the end of each book with specific award distinctions for the studio, from Columbia's It Happened One Night, Tootsie and The Shawshank Redemption to Universal's Dracula, ET and Jaws. These two volumes stand as excellent references for the powerhouses of American film. (Hamlyn [Sterling, dist.], $50 496p Universal Story: ISBN 0-600-59736-9; Columbia Story: -59836-5; Dec.)

In Christopher Lee: The Authorised Screen History, Jonathan Rigby (English Gothic) celebrates one of British cinema's greatest legends. George Lucas's foreword enthusiastically commemorates Lee as "breathing life into every character he plays." His starring roles in Dracula, The Mummy, The Face of Fu Manchu and The Wicker Man are all presented with previously unseen photographs, summaries and interesting facts. It also features a quick reference television and film chronology. 150 b&w illus. (Reynolds & Hearn [Trafalgar Square, dist.], $29.95 paper 256p ISBN 1-9031-1111-0; Nov.)

Published the same year as Marilyn Monroe's 75th birthday, Richard Buskin's Blonde Heat: The Sizzling Screen Career of Marilyn Monroe provides full coverage of Monroe on the silver screen, including plot summary, behind-the-scenes facts and opinions, reviews, public reaction, photographs and cast lists for each of her films. Along with an introduction by the late Jack Lemmon, the book includes interviews with Ginger Rogers, Jean Peters, Billy Wilder and others, and covers not just films and screen tests, but television appearances on shows and in ads. 50 color and 50 b&w illus. (Watson-Guptill, $35 256p ISBN 0-8230-8414-0; Oct) Embracing the life of another Hollywood diva is Caren Robert-Frenzel's Rita Hayworth: A Photographic Retrospective. This film memorabilia collector presents Hayworth's life beginning with her early years and thoroughly chronicles it until its sad ending. The book showcases nearly 300 images, revealing how Hayworth gained her fame as a pin-up portrait for soldiers and as a big screen star. Many of the photographs are rare, even showing her original Spanish-style hair and dress. 297 illus., 10 full-color. (Abrams, $39.95 240p ISBN 0-8109-1434-4; Oct.)

Better Business

Succeeding DK's Essential Manager's Manual, DK's Managing for Excellence supplies strategies for office management and leadership development. The eight authors provide more than 1,200 tips, along with charts and diagrams for simpler decision making. The book's topics include effective leadership, putting customers first, understanding IT and moving to e-business. This hefty office manual provides step-by-step instruction for a better working environment, improved leadership and business concerns such as relocation and information technology. In its thoroughness, it even offers evaluation charts that reveal one's readiness for leadership, marketability and other management requisites. (DK, $40 864p ISBN 0-7894-8027-1; Sept.)