Clearly, the Chevrolet Corvette is a very popular subject for "coffee table" books about automobiles. In the first five pages of a keyword search using "Corvette" on Amazon.com, there were more than a dozen titles listed.
What makes Jerry Burton's book, Corvette, America's Sports Car--Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow a standout from others in this crowded market is that, not only does it have gorgeous imagery from the General Motors archives and other sources, some of which have never before been published in a book, but it also has text which tells a comprehensive story drawn from exclusive interviews with the many engineers and designers who defied conventional thinking in creating America's Sports Car.
With unparalleled richness, Corvette, America's Sports Car explores Corvette, both in terms of its design, engineering, and racing genealogy, as well as its impact on people and popular culture. Another reason this title is just a cut above similar works? While the technical aspects of the car receive some coverage, thankfully Burton didn't get bogged-down in nuts-and-bolts, gearhead issues which can be the kiss-of-death in a book like this.
A big part of why this work's appeal is so strong is that Author, Burton, brings significant journalistic credentials and Corvette expertise to the table. He's the founding Editor of prestigious Corvette Quarterly magazine and was reappointed to a second term as Editor in 2007 after spending several years in other capacities at the magazine's publisher, Campbell-Ewald Publishing. He was on the founding Board of Directors of the National Corvette Museum and has been involved with the Corvette community for over 25 years. If you've ever read Burton's work in CQ or read what's known in our hobby as simply "The Zora book" (Zora Arkus-Duntov: The Legend Behind Corvette, Bentley Publishers, 2002) then you're familiar with his smooth, rich prose. Jerry has knack for focusing on the emotion and the mystique of the Chevrolet Corvette which is near-unmatched in automotive journalism and it shows in his latest title, Corvette, America's Sports Car.
This book's first printing was a resounding sucess having sold-out in about 16 months. The book went to a second printing in April 2008 with a revised edition notable for containing new material on the 2009 ZR-1. At this writing in the Fall of 2008, the 2nd Edition is in stock at many retail outlets, making it a great Christmas gift idea for any Corvette fan.
Of course it's eye candy which makes or breaks a coffee table book. While such works can be successful with only average writing quality, they are failures when the pictures are anything less than outstanding and Corvette, America's Sports Car has no shortage of exquisite images. That quality was pushed even higher in the 2nd Edition via a rescan of some of the GM Archive originals. In fact, you'd better have this book actually on a coffee table because those reading it will leaf-through the first few pages, then want to set their coffee cups down on something and begin to view the book's imagery intently.
Jerry Burton's writing, his insightful selection of photographs and drawings and the publisher's execution of the coffee table book style makes for an wonderful Corvette reading experience. The book's publisher, Universe Publishing, has a successful track-record of producing large format, hardcover books with a characteristic, luxurious presentation. I marveled at the book's richness in its use of an actual C6 Corvette emblem on the cover. That Universe markets through high-volume, channels, such as Costco Wholesale and Amazon, ensures a reasonable "street price".