The book that will make you think about the 20th Century. [via]
This book lists and discusses the "top 40" artistic events of the 20th century, using a quirky and personal list created by Paul Williams, which is illuminated by forty short essays discussing his choices. That alone would suffice. But in addition, Williams has created an entertaining, readable book-length work on personal and subjective responses to art.
Everybody loves top-40 lists: Will it have your own secret favorites on it? Or will there be some stuff you never heard of? Or hate? Bob Dylan? Sure, but what by Dylan? Every list provokes delight an danger and, if it is a good one, illumination and surprise. Paul Williams's lists mixes high art and popular culture, and is sure to leave no one who reads it unmoved. But a list only takes one page--and the rest of this book is Williams's thoughts on how everyday people connect with art and performance, subjects on which Williams is brilliant, insightful, and entertaining. This is a good and serious book that is fun to read.