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American Cool Hardcover – January 24, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
Just as elusive as a general definition is the inability of any two people to agree on who is cool. If you don’t believe it make a list of the 20 people you consider the coolest over the last 50 years and ask the person you feel most compatible with to do likewise. Before either of you says something you might later regret, purchase American Cool.
In American Cool, Joel Dinerstein and Frank H. Goodyear have not only defined this ever-changing term but have also compiled a list of the 100 coolest Americans. Dinerstein has provided background sketches for a majority of the individuals selected for the book, as well as cogent essays that trace how cool has been defined, altered and applied across the decades, from Lester Young to Jay-Z. Dinerstein has formulated a four-part rubric used to determine the “Cool 100” that will no doubt be of great service to future generations of cultural historians
Goodyear, former curator of photographs at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, contributes captions for 30 of the subjects as well as a thoughtful essay explaining the role photography and photographers have played in capturing and asserting the icons of cool.
Some of the best captions describing an individual’s cool come from those who were directly influenced by them, such as bandleader Eddie Condon writing that Bix Beiderbecke’s cornet sounded “like a girl saying yes,” or Bob Dylan’s declaration that “Hearing [Elvis] for the first time was like busting out of jail.”
The selection and presentation of stunning imagery and informative text affect the viewer in ways similar to great individual works of art, challenging us to reconsider our assumptions.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I missed the exhibition,but love the book.
Each image is accompanied by a short bio/write-up of the sitter,below that is some information
about The Photographer and... Read more
I bought this as a gift, and she loved it! Only negative is my picture was nowhere to be found...must be a series.Published 11 months ago by adam mayer
This is an excellent book. What a great concept. I bought if for my husband and ended up reading it first. lolPublished 20 months ago by harleybluz
A truly wonderful book!!! I highly recommend this to anyone for an intense few days of reading, or a light read in front of the T.V.Published 20 months ago by Mara Irwin
Fell in love with the exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery. This is the coffee table book to end all coffee table books: Better than the exhibit, well-written, gorgeous, and... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Luke Gering
From reviews I read, the book was not exactly as I envisioned. I expected a different layout with a wider selection of photos.Published on May 26, 2014 by John H Francis