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lettherebebooks has commented on (5) products.

The Last Great Walk: The True Story of a 1909 Walk from New York to San Francisco, and Why It Matters Today by Wayne Curtis
The Last Great Walk: The True Story of a 1909 Walk from New York to San Francisco, and Why It Matters Today

lettherebebooks, October 25, 2014

Curtis gives robust new life to an obscure, eccentric American while shaming the reader out of her reading chair. The Last Great Walk is both a glimpse onto a time before the great wars and a contemporary study of our sad evolution from bipeds to couch potatoes. It's an elegant weave of basic narrative (the great walk) and history of American roads, transportation, and the laws that grew to manage them, not to mention the wiles of powerful interest groups. This reminder of Weston's walks might just save us from ourselves.
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Pictures & Tears: A History of People Who Have Cried in Front of Paintings by James Elkins
Pictures & Tears: A History of People Who Have Cried in Front of Paintings

lettherebebooks, November 18, 2013

To cry, to shed tears, to weep, to fall to the ground - all because of a painted picture. Elkins shares insights from letters shared by contemporaries. He rummages through the bins of history to find examples to support his theory that there is something about paintings that can push us to tears. Sadly, he tells us that with the weight of knowledge we now carry about art (thanks to people like him), we are less likely to succumb to our emotions when confronted with a painting. We live in a time where we have learned to distance ourselves from displaying emotions - it is a "tearless time." But Elkins gives us advice on how to be open to paintings. "Throw yourself into looking," says he. And, say I, throw yourself into reading Elkins' fascinating books about art.
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The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M Edsel
The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History

lettherebebooks, March 26, 2013

Whose Art Is It?

When Hitler began looting artwork from Jews, and toting off precious collections from museums and churches in Holland, Belgium, and France, a small band of U.S. military men led the way to protect what was left and retrieve what had been taken.
Hitler had planned to build a major museum in Linz, Austria after the war. But he was also getting even. It was no secret that the Louvre had become a major world museum because of Napoleon’s seizure of cultural treasures from Prussia 150 years before. Hitler wanted it all back. He and his sidekicks raided towns and cities before turning them to rubble.
In the end, The Monuments Men recovered vast riches and stolen art treasures stored away in castles and in the hundreds of miles of mines throughout Germany and Austria. Their quest became a march against time with the signing of the treaty at Yalta. They owed much of their success to an obscure French woman named Rose Valland, who had been allowed to stay on as a volunteer at the Jeu de Paume after Paris fell. Her modest demeanor and looks belied her quick mind and ability to spy. Robert M. Edsel’s book tells that story. A captivating read for anyone with an interest in WWII and/or European art.
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Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow
Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

lettherebebooks, March 13, 2013

I'm thrilled to have more ammunition to counter America's obsessive adoration of Ronald Reagan. Rachel Maddow deserves to be Pope, only I wouldn't wish it on her. White smoke, anyway, for this brilliant book by TV's most brilliant news anchor.
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Jack Lenor Larsen: A Weaver's Memoir
Jack Lenor Larsen: A Weaver's Memoir

lettherebebooks, March 13, 2013

Jack Lenor Larsen is an artist with an artist’s respect for materials, process, training and education, and human ingenuity. He forged a path of uncertainty to discover pots of gold. I love reading this man’s account of his move from the tidelands of Puget Sound to the shores of Long Island, zigzagging his way around the world, touching fellow artists and craftspeople, all the while making the world a more beautiful place. A Weaver’s Memoir is a beautiful book, its author genuine and honest. It pleases me to read and reread his story.
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