Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Speed Reader

By Blake de Pastino, Julie Birnbaum, Angie Drobnic, Tracy L. Cooley

SEPTEMBER 15, 1997: 

Tijuana Bibles
by Bob Adelman et al. (Simon & Schuster, cloth, $24)

Tijuana Bibles were among the first works of American porn, X-rated comics that ruled the graphic underground from the 1930s to the 1950s. These little anonymous pamphlets were the Genesis of masturbatory literature, and it's a relief that someone has finally done an unabashed, above-board study of them. Here, collector Bob Adelman offers 100 TBs reproduced in full, with all their hardcore, juice-flowing action in tact. Although some of them barely pass the muster as comic art, there's a certain wonder in seeing smut as a cartoon--all the men wielding penises like scimitars, each woman with a vulva like a split fig. If you want to actually read this book, Art Spiegelman offers a great essay on the meanings of these "fuck books." But if you're not in it for the reading, let's just say that these comics get the job done. (BdeP)

Wild Justice
by Michael Lieder & Jake Page (Random House, cloth, $25.95)

In an elegantly written, richly detailed work, Lieder and Page have researched and compiled information about an unusual chapter in United States and world history. The 1946 creation of the Indian Claims Commission marked the only judiciary body ever developed to make reparations to indigenous people damaged by European expansion. Wild Justice deals primarily with the Chiricahua Apaches, following them through their stubborn wars with white settlers, which made warriors like Cochise and Geronimo famous, to their 27 years as prisoners of war, to their eventual day in court. Their story is especially pertinent to New Mexico, since the Apache aboriginal territory covered a large part of the state, and Apaches still live on the state's Mescalero and Jicarilla reservations. While it explores complex legal issues at times, Page and Lieder are able to make their book at once readable and highly informative. (JB)

Get Back: The Let It Be Disaster
by Doug Suply and Ray Schweighardt (St. Martin's, cloth, $24.95)

The Beatles were the greatest rock band in history because they did every rock form imaginable, and they did it all so well. There have been many books written about The Beatles and their music, and there are undoubtedly books left to write. But this one nevertheless seems like overkill. A moment-by-moment chronology of the recording sessions from their last released album Let It Be, the book purports to be an anatomy of a breakup. But the problem is that the details overwhelm, (are George's regularity problems that relevant?) and details are left out at times when they could have been illuminating--the book often summarizes jokes and arguments when direct quotes would have been far better. Get Back is for the ultimate fan obsessed with minutiae, but not for someone looking for greater understanding. (AD)

Circle of Love Over Death
by Matilde Mellibovsky (Curbstone, paper, $14.95)

While it is difficult to understand conflicts in far away countries, the atrocities that were committed in Argentina should be remembered. Mellibovsky tells the stories of women there who lost their children to and fought against a government that is unconscionable. The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo have suffered astounding tragedies as a result of the military coup of 1976, which took place under President Jorge Rafael Videla. Mellibovsky, who lost her 29-year-old daughter Graciela, conveys the anguish experienced by mothers whose children were abducted or killed. Their stories are deeply moving, and their political actions are full of spirit and heroism. Their cries have affected their own country, as well as the world, and learning of their experiences will change your definition of justice forever. (TLC)

--Blake de Pastino, Julie Birnbaum, Angie Drobnic and Tracy L. Cooley

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