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Humans of New York Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First edition edition (October 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250038820
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250038821
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (991 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Top 5 Humans of New York

Brandon Stanton's thousands of not-quite-candid street portraits of New Yorkers (and accompanying captions, usually from the subjects themselves) have made his Humans of New York blog both poignant and extremely popular--as well as garnering him recognition as one of Time magazine's "30 People Under 30 Changing the World." This book of the same title collects 400 of his best portraits, telling small stories that are outsized in their humor, candor, and humanity. It was also our number one pick for the best books of the year in Photography.

Here are Stanton's own top five favorite images, accompanied by his own words. Click on the images to see larger versions, and learn more about Humans of New York. It also makes a wonderful gift for any of the humans in your life.

-- Jon Foro

 

1) Ironically, some of the best quotes come from the people who have the least amount of time to talk to me. She told me: "I can't talk, because these shadows are changing every second." Normally I'm a bit downtrodden if I'm unable to interview a subject, but I thought her 'brush-off' was the perfect complement to the photo.

 
 

2) I always cite this photo as representing the most emotional interaction that I've ever had on the street. I came across this 100 year old woman just south of Central Park. She was walking in a rainstorm with a very bright umbrella. After I took her photo, I got under the umbrella with her, and asked her for one piece of advice. She said: "I'll tell you what my husband told me when he was dying. I asked him: 'Mo, how am I supposed to live without you?' And he told me: 'Take the love you have for me and spread it around.'"

 
 

3) I was walking through Chelsea one morning when I noticed someone rolling around in the middle of the street. Of course I started running toward the scene, and when I arrived, I found this drag queen. Apparently she had been performing a song at a nearby bar, and at the climax of her performance, ran into the street and threw her tips into the air. I joke that this photo captures more elements of New York than any other I've taken.

 
 

4) I love this photo because of the variety of expressions that I managed to capture. I found these kids in the Lower East Side, making the most of a hot summer day. Right before I took the photo, one of the kids leaned a little too far forwards and started spilling water from the pool. This created a variety of different responses from his fellow swimmers.

 
 

5) The young boy seemed so unwilling to participate in the portrait, that at first it seemed like a photo would be impossible. But his shyness ended up coming through beautifully, creating a portrait of the relationship between mother and son.

 

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2013: The thing that always amazes me about New York is that it works at all: so many people, stacked on top of each other in apartments or wedged side-by-side on the streets, that it once seemed--to my admittedly West Coast eyes--that there could be no room to breathe, to stretch, to be human in such a seemingly inhumane environment. Even the garbage (the literal garbage; no Travis Bickle allusions here) is pushed to the sidewalk--there’s not even space between buildings to hide it. But once I’d been there--admittedly late--I understood that it’s the people themselves that make it work; that diversity and self-expression (not to mention the necessity) create a kind of space on their own. Brandon Stanton gets it. His thousands of not-quite-candid street portraits of New Yorkers (and accompanying captions, usually from the subjects themselves) have made his Humans of New York blog both poignant and extremely popular. And now, his book of the same title collects 400 of his best portraits, telling small stories that are outsized in their humor, candor, and humanity. As it turns out, inner-space is a dimension all its own, and it counts, too. --Jon Foro

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#76 in Books > History
#76 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

Love the book, the blog, follow the facebook page!
Courtney
Loved the book, such an insight into people and the amazing stories behind their photos.
Ebony Sharland
I highly recommend this as a coffee table book as it is a great conversation piece!
Michelle Placeres

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

411 of 459 people found the following review helpful By Aline on October 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I hate to break the 5-star roll, but the honest truth is that the blog is better. I was super excited to have a curated set of Brandon's absolute best photos and quotes, but most do not carry anecdotes and just say "Seen in _____". As a native New Yorker, I would also add that several neighborhoods were labeled incorrectly: a hot dog shop in Gowanus was wrongly labeled as Red Hook; a corner in Gramercy was labeled "Lower Midtown" (a term Brandon invented himself-- it is used neither on maps nor in conversation).

Furthermore, there are too many similar photos; there is a limit to how many times I can be captivated by women with half-shaved heads. He's also added a lot of low-quality photos that don't tell a story and are trying too hard to be aesthetic: a plain woman in a red coat against a red and white background for instance. These seem like earlier amateur works. They would be interesting to see on the blog as evidence of how the project has matured, but in a book where each page is precious real estate, these photos lack depth and feel like filler.

In the blog, oftentimes the quotes speak louder than the photos, and that is why I follow HONY. So I can meet the people of my city through his interviews. The quotes allow us to go beyond the surface. They humanize the people photographed and tell a story. But like I said, most of the photos in the book do not have accompanying quotes. I find myself impressed by a much, much larger percentage of photos on the blog than in this book. But I commend Brandon for making his book dream come true. I think the next edition will be better. Stick to the format of the blog! Photos and anecdotes and no filler!
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95 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Cionie on October 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Brandon's work is something really special. I've only been following his blog for a handful of months, and his photos and stories are incredible on their own, but that's not even the most surprisingly special part about this project. Read the comments on his Facebook and blog, the positive to negative ratio is unlike anything I've ever witnessed on the Internet, a place I thought only ever brought out the negative and judgmental side of people. People relate to these individuals in ways that each one of us, on our own, might never have imagined. This book, to me, represents more than just a fabulous addition to the "art world", it represents a movement of humanity and all of the positive qualities it possesses.
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106 of 129 people found the following review helpful By Levi on October 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'll begin by saying that I quite enjoy the blog itself; it is an idea that which on paper sounds merely okay but in actuality turned out to be a very refreshing and uplifting testament to the stories of humanity. It is a documentation of usual New York residents and their unusual pieces of personality and personal history. Brandon Stanton is competent as a photographer, but his technical skill isn't particularly noteworthy, he merely documents what he sees. It is his 15-second interviews that really rise above and breathe life into his several years of accumulated work. It is absolutely in these mini-interviews that accompanied every photo that his strength lies, and it really does make the HONY project exceptional. All this to say that I was excited about the publication, but when it arrived I felt almost cheated. The book itself is smaller in size than I expected for a photo-book (I believe about 8-9 inches) and for the most part, the interviews and quotes from the subjects have been replaced by short little quips by the author (some of which were clever than others) or simply a notation of where the photo was taken. Gone was the inspiration, gone was the warmth and absolute humanness of each photo, and what you are left with is simply a photo-book whose photos are often nothing to write home about. I still love the blog, and I've flipped through the entire book, but it probably won't be one that I will open again and again.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By caa11105 on October 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
But, then, I didn't expect that I would have any other reaction. I ordered four, as a matter of fact. One for a friend who is planning to move here, one for my 14-year old goddaughter in Germany, one for my dad, who is sad I like it here (with the comment ... and this is why I like living here) and one for myself. I actually think I will order another for the reception area of the company I work at. So overdue, this look at NY that embraces all its humans in all their individuality. And it's a truly aesthetically beautiful book, too!
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Val on October 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I never buy books that I see people advertise on Facebook. But for the past year, I've felt like Brandon is just a friend of mine, posting his photos with little captions. Then I watched him grow more confident and gain a bigger following. And then, when he said he'd made a book - it was as if one of my best friends was telling me to buy it. I had 100% confidence in him and I was not disappointed.

On top of the direct quotes from his subjects, Brandon adds his own commentary in this book (unlike his blog, which he likes to keep out of). It's delightful. In a few words on every page, his sense of humor shines through.

This book is the perfect size - not too big, not too small. It has a great cover and the photos inside will make you laugh, smile, cry, and all of the above at the same time. The perfect example of the human experience.
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