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Underwood Oversight

January 21, 1990

As publishers of the new book, "Gilbert Stanley Underwood" (by Joyce Zaitlin), we could not help noting the following inconsistencies in your mention of the book in Book Review for Dec. 10.

1. You describe the book as "thin," with "185 pages." The book has 202 pages--only slightly thinner than the next book reviewed, whose size is not referred to. . . . How does a page count help the reader evaluate the significance or beauty of the book?

2. You say the work is "modestly illustrated." However, there are more than 100 illustrations, some in full color.

3. You call Underwood's career that of a "maverick." As you are surely aware, such a descriptive term in colloquial usage means one who follows an independent position, refusing to conform to that of his group.

Both his joining of architecture to the environment and his Art Deco designs, while at the growing tip of his time, were still expressions of a wider awaking to these possibilities. Underwood, it seems, just did it better.

One main goal of Zaitlin's book was to provide depth and insight to both professional and casual observers into some of the country's finest public buildings and lodges. While the book may be examined for its relative success in attaining this goal, what, in contrast, was the purpose of your review?

JOSEPH SIMON, RONALD GALBAVY, Pangloss Press, MALIBU

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