This oversize album is part confection and part social document--but a source of fun no matter how seriously the book will ultimately be regarded. Cohen, who created the popular "Day in the Life of America", dug out a slew of photographs capturing various aspects of American life taken anywhere from the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth; next to each photograph he juxtaposed a contemporary photograph of a comparable or in some instances the same scene. Manhattan's skyline in 1876 was certainly shorter in building height than it is today but more crowded in terms of ships' masts and sails around its watered periphery; a Union cavalry trooper in the Civil War may wear a different uniform than today's soldier but the look found in his eyes is pretty much the same; and a 1928 photograph of a bootleg liquor bust near the U.S.-Mexico border seems a far more romantic affair than a present-day heroin bust in San Francisco. Nothing awfully weighty here, just a visually enticing then-and-now comparison that gives the viewer a sense that the good of technological and social progress is often debatable. Given the publisher's promotion efforts, expect demand.