"In The Totem Pole: An Intercultural History, Jonaitis and Glass trace the permutations of form and perceptions this iconic form of Northwest Coast art has undergone over the last 200-odd years. They weigh questions of authenticity, misinterpretation, appropriation, denigration, and, ultimately, transformation at the hands of contemporary Native artists.... The range and depth of this handsomely illustrated book should make it the definitive study of the totem pole... that is, until artists push this living tradition in yet another unforeseen direction."
-City Living, The Seattle Times
"... a big, beautiful book that takes on the subject seriously but interestingly."
"Writing a poem is like trying to describe a totemic column which passes right through and beyond the world. We see it, but its existence is elsewhere."
-Stanley Diamond, Totems
". . . an essential work, one that will surely serve as a model for other explorations of material culture in contexts of interethnic encounter."
"Jonaitis and Glass invigorate the history and analysis of Northwest Coast totem poles with a neomodernist discussion of how cultural interaction unfolds as a dialogue between groups."
-Daniel Monteith, Alaska History, Fall 2011
"This richly illustrated, highly accessible, and thoroughly researched volume has made an important contribution to the study of totem poles, Northwest Coast art and culture, museum studies, and the history of anthropology."
"...an informative, thought provoking, and beautifully illustrated collection of essays by art historian Aldona Jonaitis and anthropologist Aaron Glass. Not only does the book present solid scholarship, its contents clearly are the result of the authors' genuine affection for their subject matter."
-Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources
"Although there are a number of books on totem poles... this book stands alone in adding the influence of non-Native and non-Northwest Coast individuals to the development and use of totem poles as monuments and as icons. Valuable for an academic audience, the book is readily accessible to general readers, as most theoretical ideas are concisely and clearly discussed in footnotes. The variegated and constantly shifting uses and meanings of the totem pole icon are truly incredible. Highly recommended."
"Words like seminal, definitive, and encyclopedic are bound to accrue to The Totem Pole: An Intercultural History.... Widely researched and richly illustrated, this big, beautiful book tells us why we find images of totem poles on everything from fridge magnets and Frisbees to back scratchers and Boy Scout badges."
"... the defining take on this fascinating subject."
-Art History Newsletter
"The Totem Pole is a visually rich, gracefully written cultural biography."
-The Book Monger
"Recommendation: For anybody interested in Native American art."