- Book Notes
The Birth of Bourbon: A Photographic Tour of Early Distilleries. By Carol Peachee, Foreword by Jim Gray. (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2015. Pp. 238. $39.95 cloth)
Filled with vivid photographs from distilleries throughout Kentucky, Carol Peachee’s The Birth of Bourbon highlights the craft and materials of the whiskey-making process with an artistic eye. Each page contains images of distilleries, warehouses, machinery, and barrels from the 1700s to today. The photographs will appeal to anyone with an interest in the distilling process or the bourbon industry.
Venerable Trees: History, Biology, and Conservation in the Bluegrass. By Tom Kimmerer. (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2015. Pp. 288. $39.95 cloth)
Venerable Trees highlights the characteristics, growth patterns, and histories of trees throughout Kentucky. Each chapter is an essay on aspects of Kentucky trees, including histories of trees in different [End Page 288] regions of the state, details on trees in cemeteries and parks, and tree death. In addition to dozens of photographs of trees, Kimmerer provides maps charting their location and a helpful appendix listing the trees of the Bluegrass and Woodland pastures. This book leans more heavily toward biology than history, but an environmental historian would find this work a worthwhile read.
Goliath of Panama: The Life of Soldier and Canal Builder William Luther Sibert. By Robert W. Dickey. (Morley, Mo.: Acclaim Press, 2015. Pp. 384. $26.95 cloth)
William Luther Sibert arrived in Panama as a member of the Army Corp of Engineers, charged with the task of digging the Panama Canal. His success earned him acclaim as an engineer and as a soldier. This biography chronicles Sibert’s life and career, beginning with his childhood in Alabama to his efforts as an accomplished engineer and soldier. In addition to the Panama Canal, Sibert led the effort to build a railroad in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War, improved navigation on the Ohio River, and eventually aided in the plans to construct the Hoover Dam, before retiring in Kentucky. Written for general readers, this book is ideal for anyone with an interest in U.S. military development and engineering in the early twentieth century.
The Letters of Robert Giroux and Thomas Merton. Edited by Patrick Samway. (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2015. Pp. 408. $29.00 paper)
Thomas Merton was among the most influential spiritual writers and thinkers in the twentieth century. This new collection of letters [End Page 289] between Merton and his editor, Robert Giroux, sheds light on Merton’s development as a writer and theologian. Patrick Samway has edited and annotated the correspondence between Merton and Giroux to demonstrate this development and, in the process, charts the growth of their friendship as well. [End Page 290]