This Sculptured Earth (The Landscape of America), by John A. Shimer, New York: Columbia University Press, 1959. 248 pages, ills. Price $7.50. Beautifully legible type, and a continuity of description on the processes which produced our country’s wide variety of magnificent scenery, easy to read, overwhelmingly interesting. Add to that, 79 marvelously composed and beautifully reproduced illustrations, each one of which could take top honors in any exhibition. If the reader is from Boston, he will revel in the photo of that rock-cut we all know—but never thought of photographing— that turn-off from route 128 in Dedham, which shows jointing in granite, or the photo of the Presidential Range, white in snow, from the air, to illustrate the Tuckerman Ravine cirque. If the reader is from the Plains, he will pore over the rectangular pattern of Iowa’s corn fields and the air view of meanders of the White River in Indiana; if from farther west, the view of Sheep Mountain in Wyoming, Shiprock and the Devil’s Tower. These are just a few of the dozens of striking illustrations, which tell their stories in all languages. No reader with an ounce of appreciation of beauty or of love of his country can put the book down for one instant. This book sets a new standard; it is a must for every library.
Joel E. Fisher