Kind Coasters
The American Book of The Dead
Book by Oliver Trager
Encyclopedia - Paperback - 434 pages
Fireside/Simon & Schuster  1997 12/??
The research that went into this book is quite impressive, particularly the biographies of artists who influenced the Dead, which appear to be drawn from very diverse sources. The origins of traditional songs that the band played are well documented, along with the song writers, performers, and peripheral characters in the Dead's orbit.

Of course, the band members themselves get ample coverage, as well as the many side bands they performed with. Most Dead-related releases are reviewed, and song information also includes a list of recordings by various artists, and recommended listening for music traders.

It's easy to locate information quickly, thanks to the encyclopedic format and full index, making this an ideal coffee table book for short readings, as well as longer sessions. This book will probably not be surpassed as a general, but thorough, Grateful Dead reference.