To bring order to an atmosphere marked by antic change and uneasy growth requires a certainty of perspective, a clarity of vision, particularly when that chaos is of the moment. It is just such clarity which Sir Herbert Read manifests in his concise history of modern painting,- its roots, tendencies, and developments. In his singularly uncluttered text he takes the reader through that labyrinthine tour of fads, schools, actions, and reactions, calmly defining the bones beneath the skin, making coherent the meaning behind the esoteric. Beginning with Cezanne, he investigates the schools of Impressionism, Cubism, Constructivism, Abstract Expressionism, in short all those factions which represent serious contemporary painting. By use of 485 fine plates, 100 of which are in colour, the most demonstrable elements are brought to light so that the reader-while being introduced to a Gestalt of modern art- is simultaneously exposed to some of its finest achievements. A Bibliography, Index, List of Works Reproduced and Index of Text References complete this readable text and recommend it as an accessible aid to one who would understand the visual vocabulary of his own bewildering times.