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First-rate color photography makes this look at the cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica a valuable addition to any art lover's library collection. Among the civilizations represented in nearly 450 illustrations are the Maya, the Aztecs, and the Toltecs. Readers will learn not only about the mighty pyramids of Tenochtitlan and Cacaxtla, the Temple of the Paintings at Bonampak, and the ball courts of El Tajin, but about smaller ceramic vessels, jade figurines, and other ceremonial objects. Although the text does acknowledge the near-complete destruction of these vibrant cultures by Spanish conquistadors, the majority of its contents are devoted to celebrating what the Mesoamericans did accomplish--and what has been preserved for us to remember those accomplishments. [via]