Ralph Barnes, a storybook newsman, a foreign correspondent who died in a combat plane crash in 1940, finally has his story told, in Barbara S. Mahoney's "Dispatches and Dictators - Ralph Barnes for the Herald Tribune" (Oregon State University Press, 320 pages, hard cover, $24.95).

Oregon-born Barnes was tenacious and fearless of bureaucracy. A graduate of Willamette University, Barnes earned a master's degree in economics at Harvard. His first newspaper job was on the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, but within a couple of years he was writing for the Paris Herald and then became a foreign correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune.

We're fortunate that historian Mahoney came upon his untold story while working as a teacher and administrator at Willamette University in 1985.

The story sheds light for today's readers on the events that shaped our world. Barnes was on the spot and he was good at it.

"He always got his story and got it out and neither GPU nor Gestapo could stop him," said a fellow reporter in Moscow.

Barnes' first big story came when he was the first American to interview Charles Lindberg after his victorious landing in Paris.

Antique maps

Geographer Derek Hayes has created another in his magnificent series of historical atlases.

The new one is "Historical Atlas of Canada: Canada's History Illustrated with Original Maps" (University of Washington Press, 272 pages, hard cover, $60).

Hayes uses 420 color maps and 30 other illustrations to make his points. His previous work included similar atlases of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, the North Pacific Ocean and Alexander Mackenzie's expedition across North America.

Railroad maps, 16th century maps, gold rush maps, Indian treaty maps - these tell the history of a nation, "the seizing of an empire."

Gathered from archives all over the world, many of these maps have never been published. Canada remains a mystery to most of us in the United States; this book offers an easy way to learn about our neighbor to the north.

Ski trails

Sixty-four reader-friendly maps are among the highlights of Mike Bogar's "Best-Groomed Cross-Country Ski Trails in Oregon" (The Mountaineers Books, 272 pages, soft cover, $16.95).

The guidebook shows trails accessible from Pendleton, Bend, Klamath Falls, Eugene and Portland, and includes seven destinations in Washington and California.

Anthony Lakes, Meacham, Summit Prairie and several trails in Wallowa County are included. Even for a non-skier, this is an interesting book, providing a look at what our region has to offer in the winter -once it snows.

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