NONFICTION Frederick Douglass: New Literary and Historical Essays, edited by Eric J. Sundquist (Cambridge University Press, $39.50). The 14 essays collected in this volume take a new look at the life and work of Frederick Douglass, the abolitionist orator, journalist and diplomat who was "the most important and influential black American of the 19th century." The essays include Rafia Zafar's look at how Douglass, as he portrays himself in his autobiographies, is a kind of "alter ego" of Benjamin Franklin; Shelly Fisher Fishkin and Carla L. Peterson's consideration of Douglass's journalism; and Waldo E. Martin Jr.'s examination of images of Douglass during the civil rights era of the 1950s, '60s and '70s. The French Joyce, by Geert Lernout (University of Michigan, $22.95). This study traces the French reception of James Joyce and his exemplary importance to several critical schools of thought since the 1960s. Chapters focus on major theorists such as Helene Cixous, Jacques Derrida and Jacques Lacan; university criticism; the group around Tel Quel magazine (Roland Barthes, Philippe Sollers); and the current status of Joyce in England and America. What makes this book so entertaining is its fund of anecdotes, its delineation of Joyce criticism as a current in the sociology of ideas, and its glimpses behind the scenes at the naughty French avant-garde. The Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land, third edition, edited by Abraham Negev (Prentice Hall, $29.95). Home of three of the world's major religions, the Holy Land over 10,000 years has seen the tides of civilization ebb and flow: pre-historic, Jewish, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, all of which left their mark in stone and masonry. This illustrated reference book visits hundreds of sites in the Near East and gives succinct descriptions of their biblical and archaeological history. Pastures of Plenty: A Self Portrait, by Woody Guthrie; edited by Dave Marsh and Harold Leventhal (Harper/Collins, $29.95). As revealed in this collection of his essays, letters, stories, poems and other writings, Woody Guthrie was both an American original and an ideologue. In one and the same piece -- an essay for Dance magazine on his rehearsals with a group engaged in choreographing some of his songs -- he can display both facets of his personality. "I wondered how such a pretty woman could have such big feet," writes Woody the Original of one dancer. "I don't know just how big they was but they seemed to spraddle out like and cover most of the floor." Elsewhere, the Ideologue takes over: "I learned a good lesson {from the rehearsal} in team work, cooperation, and also in union organization. I saw why socialism is the only hope . . ." The Poetics of Military Occupation: Mzeina Allegories of Bedouin Identity Under Israeli and Egyptian Rule, by Smadar Lavie (University of California, $29.95). The author, a Jew, spent four years living with the Mzeina Bedouin of the South Sinai Desert, whose tribal land has bounced back and forth between Israel and Egypt in successive tides of Middle East war. She relates how the Bedouin have learned to cope with foreign military occupation not with violence but rather through a process of ritualistic storytelling that transmutes the indignities of foreign rule into literary allegory. More than an anthropological study, the book describes in moving and often humorous detail the ways in which the Bedouin co-exist with expressions of modern culture, e.g. rock concerts and nearly nude tourist sunbathing.