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Around the World: The Grand Tour in Photo Albums Hardcover – October 4, 2007

5 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This painstakingly assembled collection gathers excerpts from the personal journals and photo albums of turn-of-the-century, middle-class American travelers to Europe, East Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. These tourists created their albums during an era when photographic visual information from foreign cultures was precious because it was rare. Many photos are intriguing as historical documents—they capture the experience of travelers who lived a century ago, and, in a few cases, they vividly illustrate daily life in exotic locales—Siam, Cambodia and Trinidad. Levine (Snapshot Chronicles) and Jensen (Picturing Arizona) assert that the experience of travel and how it is documented has been transformed with the quantum technological leaps in transportation and photography. But photo after photo resemble the holiday snapshots of a shutterbug relative: lineups of tourists posed in front of some exotic monument (e.g., the Sphinx or the Leaning Tower of Pisa). Even as the authors make an effective argument that the qualitative experience of travel has been altered, their book provides compelling visual evidence that tourist photography hasn't changed much at all. Nonetheless, avid travelers who might enjoy placing their own photo albums in historical context will be charmed by this compilation.
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Review

Page after page of vintage photography and lettering, this is an astounding book like no other, drawing us back in time to a world before digital cameras and photography, when each journey and voyage was recorded by hand...I'm having so much fun looking at each page--this is armchair traveling at its best. -- Fiveandahalf.net, November 7, 2007

fascinating for all the obvious reasons -- Flint Journal, February 2008
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (October 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568987080
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568987088
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,063,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By P. Ramey on October 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Around the World" is a delight to behold, especially today when the glory and glamor of the journey itself have been reduced to quart-size ziplock baggies and competitive shoe removal stories. The authors present pages from authentic travel albums, from Levine's personal collection, created by leisure travelers in the early twentieth century. The whimsy and unabashed creativity of the photos and their unstudied presentation on the page draw the viewer unknowingly into a multidimensional experience of travel and foreign worlds that are no longer accessible to us. The informative accompanying text by Levine and Jensen complete the picture as they remind us of the excitement and ordeals that were the basis of vacation excursions in the past, which often lasted for months or even years at a time. Descriptive glimpses into the lives of the travelers themselves heighten the excitement that comes with a first, second and third viewing of this book. The design of the book is lush and fine, too, making this an all round perfect gift book for the holiday season.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lose youself in this book and be transported to a time when the world was large and travel was an adventure. The slightly voyeristic feel of viewing strangers' photo albums enhances the strong sense of time and place. Its the perfect book for a long winter afternoon (and a pot of darjeeling tea.) I'll be sending this to several people on my xmas list.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This charming book offers an escape from the reality (and banality) of contemporary travel. Long before Trip Advisor and Facebook, photo albums were a form of self-expression that travelers shared with friends and family. Against all odds, some of the best adventures have endured and been reproduced in this elegant book.

There was a time when travel was daring, exotic and glamorous, and Around the World captures the excitement and wonder of it all. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Although I have traveled to many exotic places, I have rarely experienced the mystery and wonder I felt going through this beautiful book. Holding Around the World in my lap I am able to enter a world long gone, of ancient ruins untouched by graffiti, of people wearing their native costumes, not for show, but because that is the way they used to dress before american tee shirts became the international norm.

The book is so beautifully laid out, allowing readers to travel back in time with unknown but individual adventurers, that I can imagine I discovered these places & people on my own.

I love the look of the old black photo albums with handwritten explanations in white pen. These have an authenticity that you can feel as you see people laughing, posing, tracing their routes on colorful maps. It is amazing how contemporary some of the women look despite their hats and long dresses.

This book is a perfect gift for friends who love to travel and it is a great present for people no longer able to travel but long to see the world anew.

And its a great book for designers and graphic artists because the layout is so innovative.
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