Our National Monuments: America’s Hidden Gems

Terra Galleria. Nov. 2021. 308p. ISBN 9781733576079. Tr. PHOTOG
Photographer Luong has comprehensively documented U.S. National Parks, resulting in a body of work that’s itself a landmark of landscape photography. Here, presented in gorgeous Cinerama-scale spreads, are 27 national monuments and reserves, created by 16 U.S. presidents under the Antiquities Act of 1906 (one of the Progressive Era’s most consequential legislative achievements). The book’s foreword, by former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, emphasizes preservation and denounces recent efforts to undermine protections, including a 2017 executive order that was the largest reduction of public lands in the nation’s history. Luong’s sublime photos speak for themselves, advocating stewardship by exposing ecological and cultural importance. The visual and natural variety of the National Parks is overwhelming, and he captures each place’s unique appeal. Among Luong’s subjects are the sinuous Missouri Breaks, the Katahdin Woods, the Carrizo Plain, the Vermilion Cliffs, and remote atolls designated as Marine National Monuments (these last expertly photographed by Ian Shive), each accompanied by essays from local activists.
VERDICT A universally appealing combination of stunningly beautiful photographs, evocative descriptions, and practical information about some of the nation’s most special places.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing