Picks and Pans Review: Statue of Liberty

UPDATED 06/30/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 06/30/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT

by Bernard A. Weisberger

The festivities this July surrounding the 100th birthday of the Statue of Liberty and its $260 million renovation have inspired a number of books. Much of the information and many of the illustrations are repeated in the volumes, but collectors of memorabilia for the year 1986 have plenty from which to select. Perhaps the best overall is this big book. (Reviews of four others follow.) The introduction is by David McCullough, author of the Teddy Roosevelt biography Mornings on Horseback, who concludes that the idea of the statue is everything: "She isn't a warrior. She isn't bombastic or threatening. She isn't a symbol of power. The Statue of Liberty is an act of faith." Weisberger's text is a straight-forward account of how the sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi got his idea for the gigantic work and how it was constructed. The picture research for this volume was superb, and some marvelous old drawings and photographs are beautifully reproduced. Weisberger says the statue "if not a masterpiece, is, beyond quarrel, a towering success." So is this handsome volume. (American Heritage, $29.95)

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