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Short Takes: August 2009 

Hudson River Valley Farms:
The People and the Pride Behind the Produce

Joanne Michaels,
photographs by Rich Pomerantz, introduction by Maurice D. Hinchey
Globe Pequot Press, 2009, $29.95
Hudson Valley guidebook maven Michaels offers an insider’s view of 44 richly varied farms—heirlooms, organics, and CSAs—from the Capital District to Westchester, with mouthwatering photos and a farmstand directory. Michaels will appear at Millbrook Vineyards 8/1-2, Dutchess County Fair in Rhinebeck 8/25-28 & 30, and with featured farmers at Catskill Mountain Foundation in Hunter 8/29.

The Road to Woodstock
Michael Lang with Holly George-Warren
Ecco, 2009, $29.95
The Aquarian Exposition from the horse’s mouth: the boy from Bensonhurst who had the dream and made it fly. Interspersed with recollections from dozens of performers, organizers, and participants, Lang’s live-wire narrative travels from Brooklyn to a Florida head shop, though Sound-Out era Woodstock, and to Max Yasgur’s farm for three days so momentous that each gets an individual chapter.

Roots of the 1969 Woodstock Festival
edited by Weston Blelock & Julia Blelock, foreword by Bob Fass
WoodstockArts, 2009, $19.95
Yes, those are local boyos Bob Dylan and John Sebastian on that bike, and the photos accompanying the transcription of 2008’s Colony Café panel discussion of That Festival reach back to the early Maverick and Byrdcliffe arts colonies. Know your roots! For information on the book and Roots of Woodstock Live Concert 8/15 at the Bearsville Theater,

Woodstock: The Oral History—40th Anniversary Edition
Joel Makower, foreword by Michael Lang & Joel Rosenman
SUNY Press/Excelsior editions, 2009, $19.95
Twenty years after the festival, Makower roamed the country, gathering first-person accounts from the people who made it happen and made the scene. His 1989 classic gets its own 20-years-after revival with this new edition, loaded with black-and-white photos and 1969 headlines that bring it all back home.

It Happened in the Catskills
Myrna Katz Frommer & Harvey Frommer
SUNY Press/Excelsior editions, 2009, $24.95
Grossinger’s, Kutsher’s, the Nevele...How did the Catskills become the promised land of Jewish entertainment, mambo contests, and endless buffets? Here’s the whole geshecht, as told by a “Cast of Characters” ranging from “Celebrity Jimmy” Abraham (headwaiter at the Concord) to Sol Zim (Queens cantor and Catskills crooner). The nostalgic photos are to die for.

Explorers, Fortunes & Love Letters: A Window on New Netherland
edited by Martha Dickinson Shattuck
New Netherland Institute / Mount Ida Press, 2009, $29.95
Forty years since Woodstock? Add a zero. Four hundred years after Henry Hudson’s Half Moon sailed upriver, a dozen eminent historians and authors, including The Island at the Center of the World’s Russell Shorto, explore the New Netherland colony that once stretched from Beverwijck (now called Albany) to Delaware Bay.
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