Twenty-five years after the publication of A Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes, the distinguished critic and arts historian Richard Kostelanetz returns to his favorite subject for a third edition. Rewriting earlier entries, adding hundreds of new ones, Kostelanetz provides intelligence and information unavailable anywhere else, no less in print than online, about a wealth of subjects and individuals. Focused upon what is truly innovative and excellent, he ranges widely with insight and surprise, including appreciations of artistic athletes such as Muhammad Ali, Johan Cruyff, and the Harlem Globetrotters and such collective creations as Las Vegas and his native New York City. Continuing the traditions of cheeky high-style Dictionarysts, honoring Samuel Johnson and Nicolas Slonimsky (both with individual entries), Kostelanetz offers a "reference book" to be enjoyed not only in bits and chunks, but continuously as one of the dozen books someone would take if they planned to be stranded on a desert isle.
"Bringing together a wealth of information on esthetic innovation, [A Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes] will make avant-garde art more accessible to everyone."
"Dictionaries are not usually written for cover-to-cover reading; this one is. It is filled with fascinating people and images."
-Mark Laiosa, WBAI-FM
"Demonstrate[s] a unique subjectivity and distinctive flair without sacrificing quality…."
"A one-of-a-kind source. Nothing approaches the subject with such admirable verve."
-"Wilson Library Bulletin