In Building America, noted author-photographer Raymond Bial provides an absorbing account of how technology helped shape and define the American landscape from colonial through frontier times. Under discussion are forts, mills, canals, farms and houses -- their form, purpose and significance in United States history. Of particular note are the ways in which each structure contributed to the survival and growth of America, be it as a method of defense, manufacture, transportation or housing. A medley of the author's and period photographs, archival paintings and line drawings from artist Eric Sloane's celebrated works further enhance a distinguished achievement of historical, architectural and technological interest.
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Grade 4-7-Bial displays his trademark clear, enthusiastic narrative coupled with outstanding photos and archival prints. Here, illustrations by Eric Sloane are an additional bonus. The author shows great respect for his subjects and repeatedly emphasizes and explains the backbreaking labor and ingenuity necessary for survival in the New World and on the frontier. In pursuing the dream of building a life in a new country, the settlers adapted their old ways, borrowed from others, and applied incredible creativity to achieve their goal. Their efforts and the lasting results are vividly described. The technology explained is practical and often complicated but the clear explanations are accompanied by enlightening diagrams or photos. All illustrative material is credited and Bial's photos are reminiscent of paintings by Edward Hopper in their use of light and shadow. These titles are akin to Leonard Everett Fisher's "Colonial Craftsmen" series (Benchmark) and the classic books by Edwin Tunis such as Frontier Living (HarperCollins, 1976). The quotes in each volume are not footnoted but they generally provide color rather than essential information. The titles provide narrative and visual delights and will be valuable for school use and for browsing.
Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library, Orlando, FL
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
*Starred Review - "The titles provide narrative and visual delights and will be valuable for school use and for browsing." -- School Library Journal, February 2002
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Book Description Cavendish Square Publishing, 2001. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110761413324
Book Description Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 2001. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0761413324