In this important and illuminating book, journalist and poet Eliza Griswold roams The Tenth Parallel (Picador, $16) to discover how the globe’s largest populations of Muslims and Christians mingle, co-exist, and clash “from village to village and street corner to street corner.” Griswold spent nearly a decade in Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, where competition—for resources as well as souls—is fierce. She skillfully fills out individual stories with lessons in history and geography: the legacy of colonialism, the implications of climate change. Her sharp curiosity and intimate, compassionate style of reporting highlight the daily realities in some of the world’s most perilous places.
You see it all over Washington, practice it in politics and academics, hear it in the English language, revive it in names like Helen and Julian. It’s THE CLASSICAL TRADITION (Harvard Univ., $49.95), and it’s all around us, in the architecture, the politics, the museums. Ancient Greece and Rome did more than leave us ruins to uncover—they established a living legacy on which Western civilization continues to build. To get a sense of how all-encompassing an influence this is, an international team of experts, headed by Anthony Grafton, Princeton professor of history and author of The Footnote; Glenn W. Most, of the University of Chicago; and Salvatore Settis, of the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, has compiled this rich encyclopedia. Organized alphabetically, the 500 authoritative articles cover all facets of Greek and Roman thought, from cartography and democracy to maxims and tragedy. Color and black-and-white images present the visual end of the spectrum, which runs the gamut from Palladio to I.M Pei, from the Pre-Raphaelites to Charles Addams.
Robin Hanbury-Tenison has compiled a first-class collection of writings and prints of THE GREAT EXPLORERS (Thames & Hudson, $39.95). From the oceanic voyages of the 1500s to the undersea exploration of Jacques Cousteau and on to the vast frontier of the cosmos, this collection continually manages to instill in the reader the same sense of awe encountered by each of these explorers at the moment of discovery. The publisher took great care to produce high-quality reprints of paintings, charts, drawings, and photographs.