And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman

And the Pursuit of Happiness
by Maira Kalman
Penguin Press, 2010

Another collection of thoughtful picto-essays, this time mostly on the subject of American civics and with more photographs in the mix. This is a shame, because Kalman’s paintings are just as observant as her words, but in one chapter (the one on food production) there’s only photos – perhaps she ran out of time.

The chapter on Obama’s inauguration is now incredibly sad (it begins “Hallelujah! The angels are singing on this glorious day.”) but Kalman’s soon back trawling through American history with mash-notes to Lincoln and Washington and ruminations on citizenship, patents and recycling… making those subjects much more interesting than she had to.


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