Elevate Difference

Reviews of powerHouse Books

The Gospel of Hip Hop: The First Instrument

Just as jazz is a uniquely American phenomenon whose sentiment and message resonate with people the world round, so is hip-hop. Hip-hop began as a means by which to illustrate the experiences of people living their daily lives in the ‘hoods of New York. Although the originators of hip-hop, such as the Sugar Hill Gang were instrumental in shedding light on teen pregnancy, drug addiction, and violence it wasn’t until the era of KRS-One that hip-hop evolved to the status of Cultural Revolution. KRS-One, best known as Teacha, brought hip-hop to the mainstream.


Imperial is a difficult book. To the average reader, artist, or art connoisseur, it is hard to grasp what Vollmann is doing both in terms of publishing and in the vision within his photographs. This 200-page collection of photos of the California-Mexico borderlands named the Imperial Valley offers quality, if not perfunctory, images of a hard won desert life. The book, however, is as complicated as the people and politics it represents.

I Still Do: Loving and Living with Alzheimer’s

I Still Do was written to help anyone who has or may be coping with someone in their family who has Alzheimer’s. It is a candid and emotional portrayal of author Judith Fox’s husband Ed along with their heartfelt story. Fox loves photography and capturing that perfect picture, and it shows in the photos in this book, as well as in the striking photo on the book cover.

High Glitz: The Extravagant World of Child Beauty Pageants

Style writer Simon Doonan’s foreword starts out High Glitz: The Extravagant World of Child Pageants. Doonan feels that beauty pageants geared for children are no more exploitative or harmful than cheerleading or little league. He writes that children learn endurance, losing gracefully, and social skills. It also gives them exercise and breaks from the tedium of childhood.

Geisha: A Photographic History, 1872–1912

Geisha: A Photographic History, 1872–1912 is a beautiful hardcover coffee table book. I paged through this volume of history and beauty, and learned so much about the culture through this most amazing collection of photos and well-researched history that bullets important landmarks for the unknowing reader.