The stunning expanses of Ken Burns and Dayton Donald’s newest PBS documentary (DVD, $99.99) are laid out in the program’s companion volume. The National Parks: America’s Best Idea (Knopf, $50) is an oversize book teeming with history, documentary photographs, articles, quotations, and Donald’s film images. Its meandering content captures each of the nation’s national parks, along with the ideals and individuals who created the system and have characterized it through the years. You’ll learn of Virginia McClung and the renegade women’s circle who squabbled with the government over Mesa Verde; the disappearance of Bessie and Glen Hyde, honeymooners who vanished on their obstinate way through the Grand Canyon “in a flat-bottomed boat” in 1929; and the alarming corruption involved in the first stages of park tourism. This book is a breathtaking platform from which to survey questions of American identity and space.

The National Parks: America's Best Idea Cover Image
$37.50
ISBN: 9780375712104
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Knopf - May 3rd, 2011

Dark Water (Doubleday, $26) is a must for travelers (armchair or actual) to Florence. Robert Clark spent two glorious years, 2005-06 in Florence. His story is bookended by the great flood of 1966, but it is really a love letter to that graceful city of the Renaissance that has bestowed its affections on so many visitors. The fascinating and little-known history of Florence during World War II also constitutes a large section of the book.

Dark Water: Flood and Redemption in the City of Masterpieces Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780767926485
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Doubleday - October 7th, 2008

Dark Water: Art, Disaster, and Redemption in Florence Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780767926492
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Anchor - October 6th, 2009

This winter, while you’re dreaming of going to England in the spring, Peter Ackroyd, following his successful London, has brought us Thames: The Biography (Nan A. Talese, $40), an entertaining and widely informative book all about the great river Thames.  There are fifteen chapters, filled with history, mythology, commerce, art, literature, and nature study.  Maps and illustrations are plentiful, and dipping in and out of Thames is like learning at every turn something delightful and surprising from an old friend who has seen and done it all. 

Thames: The Biography Cover Image
$21.00
ISBN: 9780307389848
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Anchor - November 3rd, 2009

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