Review by Choice Review
This well-researched volume provides a solid survey of the documentary tradition in the US. In the spirit of Tom Gunning, Geiger (Univ. of Exeter, UK) begins with a chapter devoted to the Chicago Exposition of 1893 and the conjunction it offered between its own attractions and the emerging cinema. Subsequent chapters consider early travel films, the avant-garde, political films from the Great Depression, WW II propaganda films, direct cinema, the postmodern impulse, and the place of documentary in US culture wars. Each chapter begins with an overview and includes a case study of a single film. Geiger displays comfortable familiarity with a wide variety of films--both those traditionally discussed and many that are seldom screened. He makes encyclopedic use of the critical heritage those films have inspired. Although little in this volume is new, the richness of Geiger's synthesis will make it an excellent text for courses in the subject and also a resource outside the classroom. Given its coverage and extensive bibliography, the book will be a particularly important acquisition for libraries with limited holdings on documentary film. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. K. S. Nolley Willamette University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.