Not a biography of the famous artist of the Mexican Renaissance but an analysis of his murals and paintings: Readers get a smattering of Rivera's life story with large dollops of art history. The book opens with a description of Mayan murals at Bonampak, then skips to the artist's schooling in Europe before providing in-depth comparisons of his work with art of early Mexico and the Italian Renaissance. With a generous number of full-color reproductions, of both Rivera's work and its influences, this is ripe with information; it suffers only from poor organization and an overly scholarly approach. While many of Goldstein's explications work, some of his interpretations fall flat, as he grasps for an idea that isn't realized or makes a comparison without justifying it. (The equating of Rivera's work with Michelangelo's, for example, seems premature.) The author excels when he cites (rather than interprets) the influences in Rivera's art, chronicled in works by artists as varied as Picasso, Pinturicchio, and Posada, and when he takes readers through the events in Mexican history that are replayed in many of Rivera's paintings.