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Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 21, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (August 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714862126
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714862125
  • ASIN: B00CF5W498
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 11.5 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,606,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

After September 11th, 2001, the Ground Zero site in New York City was classified as a crime scene and only those directly involved in the recovery efforts were allowed inside. The press was also prohibited from the site, but with the help of the Museum of the City of New York and sympathetic city officials, award-winning photographer Joel Meyerowitz managed to obtain unlimited access. By ingenuity and sheer determination, he was the only photographer granted unimpeded right of entry into Ground Zero.

For 9 months, during the day and night, Meyerowitz photographed "the pile," as the World Trade Center came to be known, and the over 800 people a day that were working in it. Influenced by Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange's work for the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression, he knew that if he didn't make a photographic record of the unprecedented recovery efforts, "there would be no history."


Sept. 23. Assembled panorama of the site from the World Financial Center, looking east. (All images copyright Joel Meyerowitz from Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive (Phaidon).


Sept. 25. The south wall of the South Tower.

Oct. 11. An FDNY rescue team resting on Liberty Street.


Nov. 8. Spotters in the South Tower.

May 1. Ralph and Paul Geidel waiting for a fresh raking field.

Marking the 5th anniversary of September 11th, Phaidon Press has published this extraordinary new book AFTERMATH: THE WORLD TRADE CENTER ARCHIVE with photographs and text by Joel Meyerowitz, which will feature, for the first time, the vast collection of Meyerowitz’s previously unpublished photos from Ground Zero along with the engaging account of his experience in his own words. This historic publication is the only existing photographic record of the monumental recovery efforts post-9/11.

From portraits of the people he met to the accidental beauty of the ruins at dusk, AFTERMATH features 400 breathtaking color photographs, many taken with a large format camera. Bronx-born Meyerowitz brings his trademark sensitivity, intelligence and eye for beauty to these poignant images that will hold an important place in American history.

AFTERMATH brings to life the tireless determination of the scores of individuals who assisted in the clean-up process, including construction workers, police officers, firefighters, welders or "burners," engineers, crane operators and volunteers. Presented on a monumental scale, and interspersed with fascinating stories, the book documents the transformation of the site chronologically from piles of devastation to an empty pit six stories below ground. This landmark book offers current and future generations the opportunity to finally travel inside a forbidden city where thousands were brought together by a common cause.

"I was taking pictures for everyone who didn't have access to the site," says Meyerowitz in AFTERMATH, "so I decided to work with a large-format wooden view camera. This camera was impossible to hide, but it enabled me to make images of the fullest description, with a sense of deep space. I wanted to communicate what it felt like to be in there as well as what it looked like: to show the pile's incredible intricacy and visceral power.... I could provide a window for everyone else who wanted to be there, too--to help, or to grieve, or simply to try to understand what had happened to our city."

The World Trade Center Archive, consisting of thousands of Meyerowitz's images, is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of the City of New York where it is available for research, exhibition and publication. For the past few years, a small selection of these photographs was featured in an exhibition, "After September 11: Images from Ground Zero," which traveled to more than 200 cities in 60 countries, reaching over 3.5 million people.

From Booklist

Renowned photographer Meyerowitz has a loft on 19th Street that granted him a magnificent view of the World Trade Center, which he photographed from the 1980s onward in all seasons and at all times of day and night. Meyerowitz took his last picture of the great towers on September 5, 2001, writing in his log book, "WTC-7:30--Lights on in WTC. Simple picture, no drama, empty sky, peaceful." Meyerowitz continued to photograph the WTC after September 11, determined to document the aftermath of its catastrophic annihilation. His staggering photographs and compelling commentary are now published in a suitably grand volume. Working with a large-format view camera, Meyerowitz created extraordinarily sharp and deeply dimensional photographs that record the nine grueling months of the operation at Ground Zero, capturing scenes horrific, fantastic, and heroic. The contrast between the apocalyptic massiveness of the treacherous wreckage and the vulnerability of the brave, diligent, and caring men and women working to excavate the dead and clear the land is profound. Sensitive to both the visual drama of Ground Zero and its "abiding sense of spirituality," Meyerowitz has created an archive that is both a work of history and of art. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I purchased this book as a Christmas present and the gentleman I gave it to was extremely excited about receiving it.
Laraine C. Leitch
This tome is a stunning work of art that is the result of amazing diligence, courage and ingenuity on the part of photographer Joel Meyerowitz.
Alan L. Chase
And he took some pictures --- very simple, very humble pictures --- that will make you glad he gave that much of himself.
Jesse Kornbluth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Kornbluth TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A few days after 9/11, Joel Meyerowitz --- famed for landscapes of extreme beauty and serenity --- went to the site of the World Trade Center and started taking pictures. He stayed there, day and night, for nine months, until the workers left and only "the pit" remained. During that time, he was the only photographer on site. Just those facts tell you that the 8,500 pictures he took --- whatever he took --- were remarkable.

Two years ago, my wife and I went to a show of this work. Like most other people, we walked through the exhibit in stunned silence, not knowing what to think. The images were completely brutal and oddly beautiful, challenging beyond our immediate ability to respond. Beyond my ability, anyway --- as we left, my wife knew her mind well enough to say she thought we should buy one.

We never fight. We never yell. But I found myself on the sidewalk, screaming at Karen: "Are you out of your mind? How could you stand to see that horror every day? No one can live with that!"

We did not buy the picture. But time has changed me. I can no longer read about the people who died on 9/11. I can't look at the movies. Simply, I'm done with narratives that others create; I need to put 9/11 into my head my own way. And that leads me to photography. Yes, "every picture tells a story" --- but not until I tell it to myself.

So the guy who couldn't bear these photographs on a wall was among the first to buy the massive book --- 15" x 11" pages, some double-spread, some that fold out --- of these pictures. 340 pages of these pictures. Eight-and-a-half pounds of these pictures.

Ah, if only they weighed that little on the heart.

"Aftermath" starts, as it should, with "before" pictures, taken from Meyerowitz's studio.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on August 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Meyerowitz decided to photograph the WTC aftermath for all those involved (victims, site workers, and volunteers), and for the future. Unfortunately, he was ignored by the Mayor's office, and his requests through other channels were similarly treated. Fortunately, with a combination of Meyerowitz's determination (repeatedly going back after being ordered out), ingenuity (obtaining a "uniform" - backwards hard hat, goggles, respirator, gloves, heavy boots; creating fake worker passes), and the assistance of some sympathetic NYPD and fire chiefs, he succeeded in recording the nine-month project.

His photos record the incredible initial jumble of jagged steel and aluminum, time-outs to respectfully remove bodies and body parts, using the largest crane in the U.S. to help (1,000 ton monster), command posts located in tents and portable buildings, surreal scenes of a large cart of "fresh" donuts, a nearly undamaged Borders bookstore, little coats, backpacks, lunchboxes and desks at a WTC daycare center, and the large Winter Park area, the severe damage to surrounding buildings, homemade photo memorials, the large radio antenna atop one of the towers, airplane wheels, the subway tracks underneath the WTC and a "ghost train," the last column - along with its removal and signage by the workers, and a number of worker photos.

Meyerowitz's accompanying verbiage also add much to the book. I especially liked the story of how the only female Operating Engineer on-site uncovered another female's body while using her giant claw machine, and forced those involved to give that (and all other civilian bodies found) the same respect and treatment being afforded firemen and policemen.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to Meyerowitz and his "Aftermath."
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Geidel on September 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Joel Meyerowitz has captured the soul of the World Trade Center site, and the rescue/recovery workers passion to "leave no stone unturned". There is no way to fully describe or depict the horror of those 16 acres, but he is able to walk you through "Ground Zero" as nobody else has. He writes with the knowledge of one who has BEEN THERE. For those of us who put our lives on hold for those long, horrific months - Well Done, Joel! All I can say is - aaaah!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Boone VINE VOICE on April 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Aftermath represents the efforts of Joel Meyerowitz to document the destruction and cleanup of the World Trade Center following 9/11. This is a beefy coffee table book that is large enough to give his photos some real impact. Unlike most photo essays, however, you won't find hundreds of beautiful images. After a couple of pages show what New York's skyline once looked like, you are confronted by image after image of the horrific destruction of these huge landmarks. There are also many instances where we see the people who worked the cleanup site. Many of these are the most moving images as you can imagine the emotions that sometimes overcame these men and women who were there every day for months on end.

In addition to the photos, Mr. Meyerowitz also shares some anecdotes about what he went through to get these photos. He also talks about some of the people he met. I found these stories at least as powerful as his words. Most Americans were obviously distraught by the events of that day, but most of us were also able to start moving on with our lives and slowly put it behind us. But these people were there on the ground confronting the effects for months. Recovering bodies and personal objects, as well as being asked by survivors to put mementos on the pile of rubble as little memorials to their lost loved ones.

This is not the happiest book you can buy. It doesn't have the prettiest photos or the most elegant prose. But it may be the most worthwhile book I've ever purchased. I would urge everyone to buy a copy and read it cover to cover.
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