Thursday Book Review: “West Coast: Bering to Baja”

Tomorrow (Friday, April 1st) and Saturday, April 2nd, you can find us at the Philadelphia Art Book Fair at the George F. Thompson Publishing booth!

Today, we bring you two book reviews and a sneak peek at one of the fabulous photography books we’ll be showcasing, West Coast: Bering to Baja. Read the reviews, then keep scrolling for a look at some of the beautiful photographs you’ll find within the pages of West Coast.


Our first review comes from High Country News.
West Coast: Bering to Baja
Photographs by David Freese, Foreword by Naomi Rosenblum with text by Simon Winchester,
191 pages, hardcover:
George F. Thompson Publishing, 2012.

“I have always been drawn to transitional places,” writes photographer David Freese in West Coast: Bering to Baja. “For me, there is no more fascinating place on Earth than the meeting of land, sea and sky.”
Turning the pages of Freese’s book of West Coast photographs, you can almost hear the thundering beat of waves against the shore and smell the salt and seaweed-wracked air. The images are stark and tonal, presented in small-format prints that contrast with the vast landscapes they capture. Journalist Simon Winchester’s accompanying text explores the geologic forces that shaped the landforms portrayed. Together, the two offer a cohesive portrait of an often-fragmented coastline that stretches from Alaska’s mountainous Aleutian Islands south to the sand dunes of Baja California.

Check out this review, from the San Francisco Book Review.
West Coast: Bering to Baja
By David Freese
George F. Thompson Publishing, $60.00, 192 pages

Photography professor David Freese created this visual travelogue of 115 black-and-white plates depicting the varied 5,000-mile coastline of North America, from the Aleutian Islands of Alaska to the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. Also included is a foreword by photography historian Naomi Rosenblum, as well as explanatory observations of a more scientific nature by Simon Winchester. Their text supports the images, giving a comprehensive account of the geological forces that have shaped the landscape.
What elevates West Coast: Bering to Baja above the level of a mere coffee-table book is the consciousness behind it. This deftly balanced combination of ecology, geology, geography, and history is presented through a photographic vision in which its environmental message comes through as clear as the natural imagery. While areas of the Pacific Rim have been captured visually many times before, it’s rare to find them presented sequentially in one volume. Though the reproductions are not as large as one might expect from a hardcover, the quality of the presentation compensates by offering very educational contents. Ultimately, this book instills within us an awareness of both the fragility of the landscape and the majesty of the vast geological forces over which we have little control.
Reviewed by Richard Mandrachio

Here are a few of the beautiful images you’ll find in West Coast. Check out our booth at the Philadelphia Art Book Fair this weekend, and peruse this book and others in person!

Freese finals 6_29-23.jpg
West Coast page 23
Freese finals 6_29-79.jpg
West Coast page 79
Freese finals 6_29-81.jpg
West Coast page 81
Freese finals 6_29-93.jpg
West Coast page 93

West Coast
9781938086045There is no more beautiful or alluring coast in the world than the West Coast of North America: a 5,000-mile-long region that extends from the Aleutian Islands of Alaska to Canada’s British Columbia, south to Washington, Oregon, and California, and then to Baja California in Mexico. No photographer until David Freese has explored the various and wondrous landscapes along the Pacific Ocean in such depth, making this the first book to look comprehensively at what makes the natural beauty of this particular coast so memorable. Behind the scenery, of course, lie the geologic forces that have created the West Coast landscapes that we now admire, explore, and praise. The engaging and informative text by renowned author Simon Winchester grounds us in understanding the deep relationship between geology and scenery. And Naomi Rosenblum, the esteemed photographic historian, writer, curator, and art critic, firmly establishes David Freese’s place among the great landscape photographers of the past and present. In every photograph, his unique vision of nature and of place comes shining through. West Coast: Bering to Baja is a major publishing enterprise that will appeal to book-lovers of photography, nature, and those who dream about visiting and touring North America’s West Coast. For here we see the vital connection between art and science merge in ways previously unseen for this special region of the world.
Buy it here $60.00
West Coast is also available from all major booksellers.

Philadelphia area readers: You can purchase your copy of West Coast (and your copies of Walking Magpie, Timeline, Ireland, Honoring the Doughboys, On Wall Street, The Jungle at the Door, and Iluminciones from us at the Philadelphia Art Book Fair! Stop by the George F. Thompson Publishing booth, say hello, and flip through our beautiful photography books.


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