Books: Notable

FIFTY AMERICAN FACES

by Margaret C.S. Christman

Smithsonian Institution Press

256 pages; $25

Christman, research historian at Washington's National Portrait Gallery, has introduced an eclectic choice of portraits, accompanied by masterly biographies in miniature. Here is the fervent "Stonewall" Jackson and the loquacious Henry James; here, too, is Charles Pinckney, the Revolutionary War officer remembered for his "incredibly bad military advice." The works themselves are undistinguished, apart from the self-portraits by Mary Cassatt and Edward Hopper; but these busts, etchings, daguerreotypes, oils and sketches constitute a museum of the human physiognomy—and of our...

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