National Monuments of the U.S.A.

National Monuments of the U.S.A.

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National Monuments of the U.S.A.

The national monuments get their due.

Walker briefly recounts the history of the monuments (thank you, Teddy Roosevelt). Instead of the usual glossy photos, the text is paired with copious subtle watercolors, harmoniously arrayed with text on generous double-page spreads. Sparkling descriptions invite reader participation: “Imagine it’s 1892, and you’re arriving” in New York Harbor. “What will you see in the [pipestone] rocks?” Many monuments are in sites of superb natural beauty, but unlike the national parks, they must have historical, prehistorical, cultural, and/or scientific interest. Readers will find information on dinosaur fossils, geology, flora and fauna, and places important to Indigenous people, significant in history (Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, Stonewall National Monument, the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument), and/or connected to American leaders like Cesar Chavez. Fascinating facts are interspersed (the Washington Monument is held together through friction and gravity rather than mortar; the Pullman workers’ 1894 strike helped establish Labor Day). Regional maps throughout indicate the locations of the various monuments, divided by area: East, Central, Southwest, Mountain West, West, Alaska, and Tropics. A calm, subdued palette and geometric-based forms that use washes rather than line allow for a maximum of information without fussiness and, with help from typography, evoke classic WPA posters.

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