Creative Business Advice

Owning a company is more than just a way to make money, argues Grace Bulger in The Enlightened Entrepreneur: A Spiritual Approach to Creating and Marketing a Company—it's a form of self-expression. Bulger, a marketing consultant, helps would-be entrepreneurs found and promote companies that are true to their personal vision. She guides readers through an assessment of their skills, values and goals so that they can understand what kind of company best suits them. She then explains how to share the spirit of the company with potential customers, using a personal story to inspire loyalty and trust. Bulger's holistic approach will be welcomed by business owners who'd like more than just monetary rewards. (Marlowe & Co., $15.95 paper 240p ISBN 1-56924-544-4; Feb.)

For those trying to make their Web sites profitable in the lean years, Internet marketing sage Seth Godin, author of Unleashing the Ideavirus, has written a practical guide to making sites more attractive to browsers. The Big Red Fez: How to Make Any Web Site Better offers simple but frequently overlooked design tips (avoid inefficient pull-down menus, don't ask for the same information twice) that will keep impatient users from ditching your site before they buy whatever it is you're selling. Godin's primary mantra is to limit information on each page and offer clear incentives for clicking to the next screen. Each of his concise points is illustrated with an image from an actual Web site, making the book itself a model of simplicity that will be appreciated by busy entrepreneurs and Web designers. (S&S/Fireside, $11 paper 112p ISBN 0-7432-2790-5; Jan.)

American Treasury

With more than 100 pieces by 27 self-taught artists, Testimony: Vernacular Art of the African-American South highlights the Ronald and June Shelp Collection, supplementing a traveling exhibition co-curated by Harlem's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Exhibitions International. Mary Proctor's beautiful pastiche of paint and broken pottery on a wood door, Thornton Dial Sr.'s dreamlike watercolor and graphite works, Leroy Almon's painted and carved wood depiction of four notorious U.S. assassinations and Purvis Young's alternative biblical scenes are among the 171 illustrations (101 in full color). Scholars including Kinshasa H. Conwill, director emeritus of Harlem's Studio Museum, and Arthur C. Danto, art critic for the Nation, contribute essays on social, political and craft-related aspects of the work. (Abrams, $39.95 192p ISBN 0-8109-4484-7; Feb.)

Hundreds of pieces of furniture, signs, ceramics, textiles, weathervanes, walking sticks and other objects now recognized as art, as well as paintings, drawings and sculptures, adorn the pages of American Radiance: The Ralph Esmerian Gift to the American Folk Art Museum, the book accompanying the inaugural exhibit at the museum's new quarters. The book chronicles, via 750 illustrations (375 in full color), one of the most impressive, previously private collections of American folk art anywhere. Esmerian, museum director Gerard C. Wertkin, and a multitude of scholars, contribute essays, gathered by museum senior curator Stacy Hollander. (Abrams, $75 600p ISBN 0-8109-6741-3; Dec.)

Already the subject of a book-length poem by John Ashbery (Girls on the Run), the 15,000-page life's work of Henry Darger (1892—1972) is called Realms of the Unreal. Of the myriad, and often enormous, illustrations Darger produced for the work, Darger: The Henry Darger Collection at the American Folk Art Museum beautifully reproduces 22 of the paintings, as well as other works featuring fantastic, foreboding landscapes; armies of oddly sexed little girls; extreme weather; ruthless adults; and protective, butterfly-like creatures. Brooke Davis Anderson, director and curator of the contemporary center of the American Folk Art Museum, assembled the volume, which includes a long essay from Michel Thévoz, director of Collection de l'Art Brut in Lausanne. The book accompanies an exhibition at the Museum. (Abrams, $29.95 128p ISBN 0-8109-1398-1; Dec.)

Wide Angles

The late Linda McCartney was a prodigious filmmaker, cookbook author and photographer. Light from Within: Photojournals follows Linda McCartney's Sixties and other collections of her b&w shots, taken mostly in the late '60s, '70s and early '80s. Forty duotone and 75 color shots—including Allen Ginsberg standing in front of the Hampton Jitney bus; Paul, Stella and James McCartney in a farmyard; the Grateful Dead in Central Park—were chosen by daughter Mary and Martin Harrison, with a foreword from McCartney's Beatle husband. (Bulfinch, $50 186p ISBN 0-8212-2486-7; Dec)

Dozens of oil derricks in 1930s Long Beach, Calif.; the boardwalk in 1952 Ocean City, N.J.; shot after shot of pre- and postwar Manhattan and environs—in Cities from the Sky: An Aerial Portrait of America, Wired contributing writer and urbanist Thomas J. Campanella collects 125 lush duotone photos of spectacular midcentury cityscapes, taken by the Fairchild Aerial Survey Corporation. The foreword by University of Pennsylvania urbanism professor Witold Rybczynski (City Life) extols the photos' humanist virtues, comparing them to Lorenzo's painting of Siena. (Princeton Architectural Press, $50 128p ISBN 1-56898-299-2; Dec.)

January Publications

In Arguing A.I.: The Battle for Twenty-First Century Science, journalist Sam Williams presents a compact yet detailed approach to the controversial subject of artificial intelligence. Although the notion of A.I. might conjure up images of science fiction movie characters, it's actually a very real science, one that technophiles are consumed in a serious debate over, especially since the threat of technology surpassing human intelligence frightens many. Williams profiles A.I.'s key players: German mathematician David Hilbert, American scientist John McCarthy and hi-tech CEO Ray Kurzweil, among others. Mainly an overview of the A.I. debate, Williams's slim volume is a good introduction to this complicated controversy. (Random, $15.95 paper 128p ISBN 0-8129-9180-X; $9.95 e-book -679-64720-1)

In The Great North Korean Famine: Famine, Politics, and Foreign Policy, Andrew S. Natsios (American Foreign Policy and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) sneaks past the physical and media barricades the North Korean dictatorship hides behind to explore the tragic events that killed approximately three million people between 1994 and 1999. As a senior administrator of an NGO, Natsios spearheaded an international humanitarian effort to stem the famine's spread but was met with ignorance and indifference by many governments and organizations. Culling information from the testimonies of refugees, from his experiences with North Korean and Western officials, and from his considerable grasp of the interplay between the realms of international relief and foreign policy, Natsios delivers a portrait of an unfeeling North Korean government and the politics of humanitarian aid. (United States Institute of Peace [800-868-8064], $42.50 252p ISBN 1-929223-34-X; $19.95 paper -33-1)

The latest installment in Cassell's History of Warfare series is Lawrence Freedman's The Cold War, a highly readable and heavily illustrated text designed to gratify the war buff, the high school history student and almost everyone in between. Political cartoons, maps, diagrams and plentiful black-and-white and color photos are interspersed in chapters that consider the Cold War from its origins in the difficult post—WWII negotiations to the 1989 breach of the Berlin Wall heralding its demise. Military historian John Keegan, the general editor of the series, has already put out more than a dozen titles (The Napoleonic Wars; Wars of Empire; etc.) and promises over half a dozen more. (Cassell [Sterling, dist.], $29.95 224p ISBN 0-304-35290-X)

December Publications

Monique Greenwood runs a bed and breakfast, owns a restaurant and a coffee shop and is editor-in-chief of Essence. In Having What Matters: The Black Woman's Guide to Creating the Life You Really Want, the superwoman offers feel-good advice for "sistahs." Readers will feel compelled to listen to her; after all, she started at "ground zero" and worked her way up to the top. She tells how she did it and adapts her story to a self-help format in nine chapters, among them "A Great Career," "Financial Freedom," "A Sexy Soul Mate" and "Leaving the World a Better Place." (Morrow, $25 256p ISBN 0-688-17509-0)

Inspirational in its own way, Ali: The Movie and the Man is the official companion to the film starring Will Smith as Muhammad Ali. The book features an introduction by director Michael Mann and writings about Ali by Norman Mailer, George Plimpton, David Remnick and others, along with movie stills and archival photos of the smug, playful and energetic fighter and performer. Readers, filmgoers and boxing fans will appreciate this volume, which is not only an homage to the man whose famous phrase "I am the greatest!" still rings true, but also a tribute to Mann's film. (Newmarket, $22.95 176p ISBN 1-55704-510-0)