River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West by Rebecca Solnit
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Solnit is a remarkable prose stylist, and her examination of the brave new world of abstractions and representations born in California's violent industrializing Gilded Age past works marvelously. I will even defend her occasionally tendency to wind off into tangled thickets of near schizoid conspiracism about the connections between the various phenomena she investigates with the careful eye of a social historian. Sometimes wild theorizing about the bigger picture is exactly what the doctor ordered.