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Another in this handsome series and the British writer collaborates for the second time (London Perceived) with Miss Hofer. Pritchett's commentary is, as to be expected, a happy synthesis of occasional fact and ultrasensitive impressions: the ""word for New York is Activity""-- it ""conducts life in the present tense."" Then too many of the qualities he finds in New York are reflected in the pictures-- its newness, its explicitness, the ""stereoscopic hardness"" of its sky-scrapers. Perhaps that is why the book as a whole is aesthetically less pleasurable than The Stones of Florence or The Presence of Spain. The color plates too seem more blatant-- which again may be deliberate in intention, reflecting the glare of chrome and glass. Mr. Pritchett's text, which includes the historical development of the city and its cultural diversification, gives the book a more permanent value than the Feininger & Simon New York which appeared last year. But, on the whole, Miss Hofer seems more comfortable in old Europe than in New York and her 22 photographs in full color and 90 in monochrome gravure, while technically excellent, are sometimes repetitious and are not representative of her best work.

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World