Ghost Towns: Lost Cities of the Old West
by Clint Thomsen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This is a well-designed and attractive little book, with fascinating subject-matter, breath-taking photographs (Bannack, Montana, and Rhyolite, Nevada, are especially stunning), and terrible text. It reads like a Freshman Composition paper, and not a very good one, with sweeping overgeneralizations, no understanding of what constitutes meaningful evidence, and a raging case of thesaurusitis, like saying that Deadwood, South Dakota, is "brusquely named" or (reprehensibly) my favorite, that Calico, California, was founded "the year after Bodie's population climaxed" (38). There are other problems, like the mysterious absence of Native Americans from his presentation of the American frontier, but you won't be surprised when you reach them.
So, photographs five stars, and if--as I did--you find the book for cheap, worth it. Text, one star.View all my reviews