CommendablesnChappell on PrintingnWarren Chappell: A ShortnHistory of the Printed Word;nNonpareil Books; Boston.nWarren Chappell’s sense ofnthe visual metaphor is wellnknown to our readers. His vignettesngrace these pages withnan expressiveness that has distinguishednMr. Chappell as annAmerican artist and illustratornpar excellence.nThis proves to be only onenfacet of Mr. Chappell’s talents.nMoreover, he is one of the mostnerudite and prolific historiansnof printing. For him, the printednword, like the illustration, is anprecious medium of artistic communication;nit is an abstractnsymbol, a conveyor of moods andnideas. And not many can illuminatenthe abstract and the profoundnwith Chappell’s resourcefulness.nPrinting as a medium is, innpart, the history of a successionnof craftsmen, and their materials,nwhich have had a significantnimpact on culture. Not longnafter Gutenberg printed his 42linenBible, grammars and dictionariesnwere produced on suchna scale that an amazing increasenin literacy followed. The adventnof newspapers and magazinesnprovided a new training groundnfor writers (previously under thenauspices of the church), raisingnnew questions about the purposenand intent of those who used thenprinted word. And, of course,nthe power of the printed wordnbrought forth the ever-naggingnissue of freedom of the press.nIn 1690, Benjamin Harris printednAmerica’s first newspaper, anpaper whose first issue was tonbe its last: it was declared tonhave been issued without authorizationnfrom the governornand council of Boston.nThe progression of the structurenand style of type, from thenclassic inscriptions of the EmperornTrajan to the first romanntype of Sweynheim and Pannartz,nspanned thirteen centuriesnand was as deeply influencednby history’s great leaders as itnwas by the great artisans. Thendirectives of Charlemagne andnCardinal Richeheu were perhapsnno less important than the giftednhands of the type designers NicolasnJenson, Christophe Plantin,nWilliam Caslon and ClaudenGaramond.nThis book was first publishednin 1970 by Alfred A. Knopf.nThe edition reviewed here hasnlost none of its original impactnas a complete work. It remainsna treasure. (RAV) DnVisualnGourmandisenWilliam Packer: The Art ofnVogue Covers 1909-1940;nHarmony Books; New York.nJohn Fow^les and Frank Horvat:nThe Tree; Little, Brown &nCo.; Boston and Toronto.nD. Duane Cummins: WilliamnRobinson Leigh: WesternnArtist; University of OklahomanPress; Norman, Oklahoma.nThat old conservative cliche,nevery day in every way thingsnare getting a little bit worse, isncertainly reinforced by this book.nJust contrast the Vogue coversnpresented here with the ones ofnthe last decade. Within recentnmemory, every Vogue cover hasnbeen uniformly monotonous: thensame—or imperceptibly different—blue-eyednblonde, nevernolder than 22, stares coolly outnat us, underemotional and overmade-up,nalways in three-quarternview. Avid readers never knownif they are looking at the newnissue until they study the date.nBut the Vogue covers of thenpast—what a difference! Eachnone was drawn —not photographed—bynone of the mastersnof the genre, and each was highlynindividualized and stylized, reflectingnthe prevalent fashionsnand graphic tastes of its epoch.nSeveral of the artists were geniuses:nLepape, Benito, Eric. (Anotherngenius, Erte, still goingnstrong today at 90, was employednby Harper’s Bazaar.) Othersnwere merely very talented: Dryden,nMeserole, Plank, Stelnmetz.nThe exuberance, colorfulnessnand inventiveness ofnthese covers make one yearn fornthe time when fashion and stylenand elegance were interconnectednconcepts which made a certainnsegment of life a littlenbrighter, a little more delightful.nOur era is sadly lacking thesenqualities. (MEF)nThis is a volume of photographicnessays by a famous photographer,nFrank Horvat (bornnin Italy with a Hungarian name,nhe has had a lifelong career innfashion photography in Englandnand France), combined with essayisticnvignettes by the notednEnglish novelist, John Fowlesn(The French Lieutenant’s Woman).nThey set out to roam thencountryside of continental Europenand part of the UnitednStates, and apparently theynstopped before each tree possessednof so-called character tontake a picture and to wistfullynmuse about its aesthetics andnnndestiny. The bracing beauty ofnthe tree, one of the least-noticedncompanions of man onnearth, comes hauntingly acrossnin these images. What we realized,npaging through this book,nwas how closely the tree accompaniesnman through his existence,nand how faithfully it keepsnhim company over his gravenwhen he’s gone.nHere is an assiduous evocationnof W. R. Leigh’s westernnromanticism and aestheticism,nwhich was so routine in turn-ofthe-centurynAmerican art. Unfortunately,neven then it was obsoletenby the European standardsnthat finally prevailed in the visualnconsciousness of our time.nLeigh, once billed as “the lastngreat painter of the old west,”nages as well as prairie furniture.nHis work retains a robust decorativenflavor; his philosophicalnand social musings—strewnnthroughout the volume—arenmildly vexing, if not downrightnsilly. DnIn FocusnRooseveltiananRobert Dallek: Franklin D.nRoosevelt and American ForeignnPolicy 1932-1945; OxfordnUniversity Press; New York.nRobert Dallek has supplied ancomplete and highly detailed,nthough rather uncritical, accountnof Roosevelt’s prepresidentialnviews, his programs innthe 1930’s and his foreign policy.nRoosevelt’s “dissembling” beforenPearl Harbor is one of thenfew actions Dallek finds worthynof criticism. Though Dalleknthinks that Roosevelt acted withnjust cause, he feels that this wasna “precedent” for arbitrary ac-ni39nSeptember/October 1980n