Books: The Editors Like
EGYPTIAN PAINTINGby Arpag Mekhitarian. (Skira, $20.00.) Examples of paintings which decorated Egyptian tombs from the time of the Old Kingdom to about 1200 B.C. reveal subtle differences in period styles and a lively picture of Egyptian life. The text is businesslike, the plates superb.
THE ALPHABET OF CREATIONwith drawings by Ben Shahn. (Pantheon, $15.00.) An old Jewish legend, delightful in itself, has been illustrated by Ben Shahn with great spirit and imagination, and beautifully printed. A distinguished piece of bookmaking.
THE ART OF ANCIENT MEXICOby Irmgard Groth-Kimball and Franz Feuchtwanger. (Vanguard, $12.50.) Splendid photographs of the architecture, pottery, jewelry, and sculpture of the Indian civilizations of Mexico, reinforced by a text which is enlightening but never pedantic.
FIFTY CENTURIES OF ARTby Francis Henry Taylor. (Harper, $5.00.) 342 reproductions in color, mostly from the Metropolitan Museum, with text to explain the development from cave paintings to cubism. The reproductions are unequal — some exquisite, some very hazy.
LEOPARDS AND LILIESby Alfred Duggan (Coward-McCann, $3.50.) Mr. Duggan’s novel is a reconstruction of the uproar after Magna Carta, a study of the uncongenial match between a virtuous but horrid lady and a charming adventurer, and a technical tour de force, all rolled into one.
THE FOSTER BROTHERSby Edward Frankland. (John Day, $3.95.) Two Icelanders, a happy warrior and a wistful idealist, bash their way around Saxon England on the Viking equivalent of the grand tour. Their adventures are tragicomic and irresistibly convincing.
THE CROSS AND THE SWORDby Manuel de Jesús Galván, translated by Robert Graves. (Indiana University Press, $3.75.) This Latin-American classic of Spanish colonialism and Indian suffering in the island of Hispaniola unrolls like an enormous tapestry, crammed with brilliant color and historical detail but deliberately devoid of perspective.
Spies at Work
THE EDDIE CHAPMAN STORYby Frank Owen. (Messner, $3.50,) Mr, Chapman, an Englishman who admits cheerfully to being a safecracker by trade and a German spy by accident, also claims that he was really working for British Intelligence the whole time. True or not, it’s a strange and wonderful tale.
SPIES FOR THE BLUE AND GRAYby Harnett T. Kane. (Hanover House, $3.50.) This survey of the eager amateurs, semiprofessionals, and Pinkerton men who meddled in both Federal and Confederate affairs makes it clear that the Civil War was one of the best-spied conflicts in history.
OSLO INTRIGUEby Helen Astrup and B. L. Jacot. (McGraw-Hill, $3.50.) The experiences of a woman who worked with the Norse underground during World War II involve spies, counterspies, stolen gold, and an interesting account of life under the Nazis.