JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
It would have been easy to judge this book by its cover--and the strange bit about that is that you would've been nearly correct. Philip Dorf's schoolbook history New Visualized Modern History was published by (not the) Oxford Book Company in NYC in 1947 has a certain look in its design that seems more like an odor. There's some amount of talent in the illustrations that make it seem studied, except that there are many more elements that make it seem not so. The text (fairly extensive and compact in 388pp) looks to be well-written and accurate (or at least not the opposite) but it is interrupted by dozens of illustrations that are highly contrasted, very heavy, blocky, immobile, strained, and somehow off-putting, but in the final result the drawings actually seem to work, delivering their message, if not in an inelegant steam-filled roller derby way. Perhaps they're worthwhile after all, except that it is difficult to like something that you really don't.