From Publishers Weekly
Since its birth in 1934, the National Archives has housed some of the United States' most important artifacts, from the Articles of Confederation to the official electoral vote tally from the 2000 presidential election. Now these national treasures can be read and viewed at home in this glossy new volume. Beginning with terse introductions by such contributors as Cokie Roberts and Ken Burns, the book commences with glowing if not substantial essays regarding the archives. Yet the materials themselves—e.g., photographs of the microphones President Richard Nixon disguised as Chapsticks during the Watergate years—are fascinating enough to not need effusive declarations. American history enthusiasts will relish the chance to see culturally evocative documents, like a woeful teenager's letter to the U.S. Department of Labor begging lenience for the Beatles in 1964, as well as the opportunity to glimpse the psyches of some of our most revered public figures: for example, Washington's annotations on the Constitution. The separate placement in the back of the book of paragraphs explaining each image is frustrating, yet this design succeeds admirably in visually showcasing the defining documents of American history. (Apr.)
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About the Author
Developed in collaboration between the archivists and staff of the National Archives and the Foundation for the National Archives, featuring contributed essays by Michael Beschloss, Presidential Historian and Author; Tom Brokaw, Special Correspondent, NBC News; Ken Burns, Documentary Filmmaker; John Carlin, Eighth Archivist of the United States; David McCullough, Author; Cokie Roberts, Author and Political Analyst for ABC News and NPR; Allen Weinstein, Ninth Archivist of the United States; Tom Wheeler, Managing Director, Core Capital Partners; and Don W. Wilson, Seventh Archivist of the United States. Edited and designed by Anne-Catherine Fallon and Kevin Osborn of Research & Design, Ltd. Project managed by Maureen MacDonald, from the National Archives, and Christina Gehring of the Foundation for the National Archives. Thora Colot is Executive Director for the Foundation, Patty Mason is Senior Editor.