Leonard Herman's new book, Phoenix, traces video games form their first appearance at a government research lab (yes Uncle Sam unwittingly paid for a Pong prototype) straight through the Crash of '84 and onto the current wars between Nintento, Sega, Atari and 3DO. The book could have used an editor and a fact-checker, but it's still one of the only books out that even attempts to summarize the history of home gaming. Warts and all, it's a good read. - DAN AMRICH