A beautifully matte behemoth, Iconic America is a direct analogue of the country it purports to characterize. One is a country that transforms people and things into icons through its cultural attunement, the other is a book that does the same thing simply by labeling these elements as icons. Viewed as such, the debate over the book’s intellectual worth becomes a debate over America’s reduction to hollow symbols. Maybe Iconic America is just a record of the memorable pictures of America’s history, and maybe the concept of America is but an amalgamation of icons, the prominence of which is more coincidence than composition. Let your cultural critic, with a penchant for the visual, ponder over this.
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