Books for the Alternative Coffee Table

| November/December 1999

End Time City, photographs by Michael Ackerman (Scalo, $49.95). Ackerman's view of street life in the Indian city of Benares is at once unforgettably beautiful and nightmarish, a work that falls somewhere between documentary and apocalyptic vision.

Michelangelo: The PietAs by Antonio Paulucci, with photographs by Aurelio Amendola (Skira, $65). This gorgeous study of three sculptures, each from a different point in Michelangelo's long career, highlights both his unparalleled gift and the camera's astonishing ability to reveal it.

Full Moon by Michael Light; essay by Andrew Chaikin (Knopf, $50). The great unclouded triumph of the American Century--landing men on the moon--is revisited in these spectacular shots selected from NASA's vast photo archive of the Apollo era.

Baraka: A Visual Journal by Mark Magidson (St. Ann's, $65). Drawing on the work and vision that led to his 1993 film of the same name, Magidson surveys the forces at play in a world inexorably shaped by both destructive fury and sublime grace.

Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory by Bill Bamberger and Cathy N. Davidson (DoubleTake/Norton, $27.50). The other side of today's economic boom, a story seldom told, is captured here in a simple but powerful photo essay on the last days of a century-old business in a small factory town.