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Bruce Davidson: Subway Hardcover – April 2, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 124 pages
  • Publisher: St. Ann's Press (April 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097136818X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971368187
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 9.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,476,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Subway is Davidson's visceral take on the New York underground system of the 1980s complete with beleagured passengers, Guardian Angels, graffiti and a palpable, all-pervasive sense of fear. A glimpse of a New York that is already long gone. (Sean O'Hagan The Guardian 2011-12-13)

The brilliant flash, combined with fluorescent lighting, intense colors and Davidson's probing vision, produced images that are dramatic and at times surreal. (Holly Stuart Hughes Photo District News 2011-11-15) --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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This book explores the subways of NYC in the early 80s.
Michael Tapp
I highly recommend this book for anyone into photography or the history of modern inner cities, hip-hop, and/or trains.
W. Gomeringer
Best to buy this edition new before it too goes out of print.
Grady Harp

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By David Enzel VINE VOICE on May 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In 1980, Bruce Davidson began to photograph the New York subway system. He first started photographing in Black and White and then decided that the project required color. Davidson generally asked permission before photographing someone -- ironically the one notable exception was a man Davidson did not know was blind. It is one of my favorite images (p. 54). He offered to send them a print of the picture. Yet most of the photographs do not appear posed. The breadth of life on the New York subway system is impressive. You will see beautiful women, daring and frightening young men, some violence, people dealing with crowded situations, lonely people, business people, elderly people, musicians, graffiti, people in love, street people, an arrest -- in short the full panoply of life in NYC. It's just wonderful. The images are a bit on the dark side which fits the subject. Davidson used a flash -- as this was necessary. Many of the images have too much flash but I did not find this to be more than a modest distraction.
The quality of reproduction is excellent. I learned about the variety of humanity below the ground in New York. The enterprise was not without risk. Someone stole one of Davidson's cameras. The book does not make the NY subway seem to be a safe place but certainly one where it's possible to genuinely connect with the humanity we all share.
Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Decaff on March 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful book, presented slightly differently then the last edition and with the inclusion of additional photos. The book itself is 5 star. But there seems to be a problem with whatever group of books Amazon is accessing. The first copy looked pristine and untouched but about 15 of the pages in the center of the book were damaged. They were dented in the middle of the pages and several of the images had white scratches where the paper had folded. The damage looked as if it had taken place during the fabrication of the book. I figured it was just bad luck, so I sent the book back for an exchange. But when I received the new copy, it contained almost identical damage in the same section of the book. So my best guess is that a whole bunch of these books were slightly damaged during fabrication. Maybe not a big deal for some people, but I think it's kind of a bummer to have a photo book with dents and scratches on the photos, at least right out of the box.
I'll order another one and see if I have more luck this time.
Fantastic book -- especially if you were around in New York back in those days.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Daniel A. Hollander on June 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As an amatuer photographer, this is one of my favorite books of all time. It beautifully captures Subway riders in their natural habitat, making outsiders look strikeingly out of place. This book will not disappoint.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
American photographer Bruce Davidson was born in 1933 in Oak Park, Illinois to a single mother, who worked in a factory. At age 10, his mother built him a dark room in their basement and Davidson began taking photographs; as he was given the freedom to wander the streets of Oak Park alone. Soon after, he approached a local photographer who taught him the technical nuances of photography, in addition to lighting and printing skills. In his mid-teens, Davidson began to ride Chicago's elevated train system into the city, exploring neighborhoods and the Chicago Loop, observing wide varieties of people, and most importantly developing skills and interests that would be seen in his later photographic works. His works have always been on the leading edge of seeking out the sources of social unrest in the ghettos and in all the civil rights movements, and his ability to non-objectify the people he photographs has made him one of the most realistic of contemporary photographers.

In 1986 the original book SUBWAY was published by Aperture, a collection of images Davidson captured in the subways of New York, focusing on the 'outsiders of society more than the white collar commuters. That award winning book has since become unavailable and this current release is a re-print edition published by Aperture in September of 2011. It is well to examine these startling images again - and this edition adds 25 images not previously published. The gritty, seamy images found in this collection allow us to examine from a safe distance the seamier side of the subway riders.
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By Michael Tapp on June 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book explores the subways of NYC in the early 80s. It was truly a different environment than NYC in 2014 and Davidson masterfully captures the spirit of early 80s NYC in this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amazing photos from the underground, NYC's subway. It's like going down with him to the subterranean world. The photos he's taken are unflinching and beautiful.
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