Books, Noted
Brief Reviews of Books New to the Shelves of the CLUI Library

The Meadowlands - Wilderness Adventures on the Edge of a City
Robert Sullivan, Anchor Books, 1998.
Post-industrial pioneering and exploration into the unknown of the built world - a great book. He canoes and drives around the New Jersey meadowlands, encountering people who know the place, and tells you what he slowly learns about it. He even drinks the swamp water after purifying it through a camping store type filtering system.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Atelier van Lieshout, NAi Publishers, 1998.
Regardless of what they may think of themselves, this group of architect/artists has generated some interesting building forms involving cheap, mobile construction, and a self-sufficient, √ísurvivalist√ď aesthetic. This book is the catalog of the controversial exhibit of the same name.

The Void, the Grid, and the Sign - Traversing the Great Basin
William L. Fox, University of Utah Press, 2000.
Its nice to know that someone as thoughtful as this author is as interested in the contemporary aspects of this fairly unappreciated area as some of us. Meditations on mapping and emptiness mingle with tales of interpreting petroglyphs and four-wheelin' with Michael Heizer.

Dams and Other Disasters -
A Century of the Army Corps of Engineers in Civil Works

Arthur E. Morgan, Porter Sargent Publisher, 1971.
Though dated, this is a classic of Army Corps criticism, written by a radical civil servant, who went from being the reforming president of Antioch College to being the first chairman of the Tennesee Valley Authority.

Space Site Intervention - Situating Installation Art
Edited by Erika Suderburg, University of Minnesota Press, 2000.
Twenty essays by art theorists and others on the subject of installation-type art. There aren't so many books on this subject, so its good to see one. (Definate Southern California perspective too, with over half the essayists currently teaching at schools in the area).

Wanderlust - A History of Walking
Rebecca Solnit, Viking Penguin, 2000.
Not sure why nobody has published a history of this form of transportation before now, but here it is, finally. A good subject for the author, who seems to have one foot in cultural analysis and the other in the landscape.

Fortress America - Gated Communities in the United States
Edward J. Blakely and Mary Gail Snyder, Brookings Institution Press, 1997.
A critical book from two academic regional planners, examining the phenomena of gated communities. With nearly ten million Americans living in such places today, it seems that nobody likes gated communities except maybe their developers and the people that live in them.

Sign Language - Street Signs as Folk Art
John Baeder, Abrams, 1996.
A book of photographs of mostly hand painted signs, with chapters covering, for example, "no parking" signs, buildings as signs, misspelled signs, and signs where the lettering conforms (barely) to the box containing it.

Ancient L.A.
Michael Jacob Rochlin, Unreinforced Masonry Studio, 1999.
An idiosyncratic examination of historic Los Angeles neighborhoods and buildings. Lots of nice old and contemporary black and white photographs.

World War II and the American Dream - How Wartime Building Changed a Nation
E edited by Donald Albrecht MIT Press, 1995.
Very interesting book with some startling images. From the exhibit at the National Building Museum.

Airstream - The History of the Land Yacht
Bryan Burkhart and David Hunt, Chronicle Books, 2000.
This new, coffee table-ready release has many of the remarkable images from the Airstream book published by the Airstream Company several years ago, but quite a few more, and benefits from having more historical information, and being written by young, design-savvy writers