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Half Past Autumn: A Retrospective Hardcover – October 15, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Bulfinch; First Edition edition (October 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821222988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821222980
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 1 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #656,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Gordon Parks is one of the 20th century's greatest multitalented cultural treasures: a writer, poet, musician, composer, filmmaker, and photographer. In this book--the companion volume to a traveling retrospective--the full flower of Parks's genius is both awe-inspiring in its depth and thorough in its demolition of the era's social-science fictions about African American potential.

Born in Kansas, Parks wandered as a homeless teen, and through wit, smarts, and improvisation--and no experience--landed a job as a photographer for the Farm Security Administration, then with his new skill took pictures for Life magazine. "Tyrants, dictators, dethroned kings," he writes, "all stared into my camera with eyes that were unveiled. The camera revealed them as they were--human beings imprisoned inside themselves." Highlights among his photographic work include the haunting shot of domestic Ella Watson, the starkness of a 1940s teenaged gang leader named Red Jackson lying eternally young in his coffin, and the elegant, life-and-death ballet of the Spanish bullfight. Parks's depiction of Duke Ellington's towering music in motion reflects the importance of jazz and blues in Parks's artistry. From the films Shaft and The Learning Tree (the latter adapted from his own novel) to his impressionistic ballet honoring Martin Luther King Jr., his work swings with an American rhythm that continues to inspire him. "A musical theme vibrates in my sleep," he writes. "I get up, go to the piano, and jot it down. A blustery sky, a crescent moon, or the blazing sun can hurry me to poetry, or to the camera. When the doors of promise open, the trick is to quickly walk through them." --Eugene Holley Jr. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This lavishly illustrated book of photographs from prolific African American artist Parks accompanies a traveling exhibit organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Though Philip Brookman, the Corcoran's curator of photography, offers an assessment of Parks's artistic contributions, his autobiography?revised, updated, and shortened for this retrospective volume?tells it best. Born in 1912, Parks began photography with a $7.50 camera in 1938 and later talked his way into a job with Roy Stryker at the Farm Security Administration. He went on to photograph a range of subjects, from factory workers and Harlem riots to fashion (for Vogue), Paris (for Life), the Civil Rights movement, and Muhammad Ali; his later color work is at once dreamlike and stark. Unrivaled in the emotional impact of his photographs and the range of projects he undertook?his bibliography/filmography lists 15 books of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and photography, and he has also written and directed several films and composed film scores, ballets, and works for piano and orchestra?Parks shows no signs of slowing down. The images in this fine book, presented chronologically from 1949, go right up to 1997. Highly recommended for photography, black history, photojournalism, fashion photography, and general collections.?Kathleen Collins, Bank of America Archives, San Francisco
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Gorgeous pictures and words from an unknown talent to one of the greats!
Jeri Williams
Outstanding piece of history by one of great American writers, photographers, cinematographers, poets and filmmakers of the 20th century!
Larry Hardy
Ive wanted this book for years...also looking to find a copy of the HBO special.
EvenChance

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
Buy this book and see the wonderful and varied career of Gordon Parks. See the world through this stunning photographer's eyes, and you will never see the world the same again. Then buy *A Choice of Weapons* and find out how this man came to create these masterworks. Everyone knows his genius as a photographer, filmmaker, and composer, but people may not know that he is a master memoirist as well. Put this book and *A Choice of Weapons* on your Christmas list!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Through his poetry and photographs, Parks does an excellent job of allowing the reader to some into the world he has experienced over the years. You feel like you've gone off on assignment with him and like you've have expericned the bigotry first hand. The messages he conveys through his work were way ahead of his time, but right on time in today's world. His intelligence brightly shines through both his photographs and poetry. The narratives, photographs and poetry all make for an outstanding compilation of his feelings and views on the world. Marvelous!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Seeing the exhibit was the most wonderful day of my life. Getting the book was the next best day. I am not sure if another photographer so talented in all fields will ever appear again. Raad A Choice of Weapons also by Gordon Parks, it will help reinforce the Retrospective.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William D. Tompkins on January 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
mr. parks' book is autobiographical in photo and text. the book reveals his journey to becoming a documentor of turbulent times during his career. this is a must purchase.
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By Larry Hardy on May 26, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Outstanding piece of history by one of great American writers, photographers, cinematographers, poets and filmmakers of the 20th century! One of the first great photojournalists in America.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love it. Great pictures (photographs). This book is a wonderful introduction to Mr. Gordon Parks life and photography. If anyone is considering a career in photography get this book. Mr. Gordon Parks is my role model and I want to become a photographer with his spirit and document history using a peaceful means of communication. Here's looking at you, a camera...my weapon will also tell the truth and inspire hope in our global community. Great read...also get/read his other books. All is well with my soul and camera. Snap! Click! yes...beautiful...let's do it again.
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By Geezer on May 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you haven't heard of Gordon Parks, now is the time to meet this man of many talents. Photographer, composer, director and allaround human being who sufferd many indigneties but roe above it allthrough determination and the desire to master many disiplines.
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