Spirits of the Air: Birds & American Indians in the South
By Shepard Krech III
University of Georgia Press, $44.95
Anthropologist Shepard Krech uses historical photographs and watercolors to explore the American Southeast of 500 years ago and the deep relationship between Native Americans and birds, from crested woodpeckers, venerated as symbols of power, to screech owls, feared by many tribes as witches or ghosts. Krech uses excavated depictions of birds, Indian myths, and early explorer's descriptions to build an elegant case for the critical roles birds played in Native American life.
Lords of the Sea: The Epic Story
of the Athenian Navy and the Birth
By John R. Hale
The Golden Age of Greece and the birth of democracy would never have happened without the trireme, a warship measuring 120 feet long and manned by 170 oarsmen on three tiers. Triremes ruled the Mediterranean and Aegean from 480 to 322 B.C. Hale gives a thorough account of the battles they dominated. His research leads him to the sites of every Athenian naval engagement, and even to the bottom of the Aegean in search of the still-elusive remains of a trireme.