Twenty years after his death in 1979, John Wayne was voted "male star of the century" in a Reuters-Zogby poll. This generously illustrated coffee table book about the Duke's 84 westerns shows why nobody else stood a chance.
Those looking for dirt will find it only beneath the Duke's boots in the gorgeous pictures; the book was supervised by Wayne's oldest son, Michael. But Pattie chooses her compliments well. In a foreword, for instance, frequent costar Maureen O'Hara writes that Wayne was "a man who had a code of beliefs. He believed in individual responsibility and honor." Katharine Hepburn, Wayne's costar in 1975's Rooster Cogburn, added, "He's a very, very good actor in the most highbrow sense of the word. You don't catch him at it." This engaging and visually absorbing volume would grace any saddlebag, east or west of the Pecos. (Western Classics, $75)