Dreamland is a wonderful, wistful volume of photographs produced just after the turn of the century by William Henry Jackson and the Detroit Publishing Company and collected recently by editor Michael Lesy. The book, with its spare design and reverse-type pages, is beautifully constructed; pairing the photographs with summaries of carefully-chosen events from the first decade of this century, it slowly builds a clear and compelling portrayal of both the similarities (politicians and scandals seem to be a constant) and differences (crushing loss of life and wilderness) between the America it pictures and that of today. From its cover image of children rushing into the surf near the Cliff House in San Francisco through its ever-contrasting procession of burgeoning cities, pristine scenery, alternately solemn and carefree faces, and towns sprouting on the edge of the not-quite-tamed wilderness, Dreamland continually surprises with its ability to communicate strong emotions of a time long past yet often resonant with today. In my mind, one of the most important aspects of the book is buried at the end: its coda, "The Enterprise and the Undertaking" which provides a history of Mr. Jackson and the making of the photographs, as well as a personal statement by the author, Michael Lesy, providing insight into his personal obsession with the collection. This would have made an equally enjoyable preface, anchoring the tone for both photos and text. My comlpaints are few; the book suffers from less than perfect printing, showing unfortunate flaws in the black ink on many of the pages. Also, the decision to relegate the captions of the photographs to an appendix leaves the pages clear and unadorned, but also leads to a great deal of page-shuffling; I found this an inconvenience, as every photo leads you to wonder "where and when was this; who were these people?" In balance, I very much enjoyed Dreamland - for the overall quality of its presentation, for the emotional impact of its subject matter, and especially for its striking evocation of America on the cusp of its irrevocable transition to the modern age. Recommended.