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Humans of New York Hardcover – October 15, 2013


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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 (1,198 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #471 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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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 Dawson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

487 of 539 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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102 of 116 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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126 of 152 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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Scherrer on October 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"Humans of New York" without question, captured the spirit soul and heart of New York City.

Brandon Stanton is a wonderful source to humanity and I'm so very proud to have it on my coffee table.
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49 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Lady O on October 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover
While I also find the blog better in its joyful spontaneity and lack of editing, this still is a treasure of a book which anyone would enjoy regardless of where they live.

However, what I find unforgivable is that the text is set in ALL CAPS -- ALL OF IT. Blocks of type set in all caps are difficult to read, cause eye strain, and the use of which is considered shouting. So, instead of cozying up with this delightful book, I find I can take only a few minutes of being "shouted at" before I have to put it down. Obviously design over function won out. If other books are to follow, I encourage the editors to take this into consideration. I mean really, it's basic Layout 101.
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31 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Amelia Gremelspacher TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So this title is the caption of a photo of a lovely woman sketching in the park. Being self conscious on occasion, as one is, I had sort of planned my review as I was reading this book. I would choose my favorite two or three and do a vignette. Now this is impossible, because when I leaf through the pages, I find ten more favorites. And retrieving the very best one snarls me in twenty more.

This photographer set out to define the city in pictures of its occupants in all their diversity and through the changing urban landscape of New York City. He has succeeded. I think he has. It has changed that last bit of my perception of a cruel soulless city into a montage of people.

When I was a child I had a book of pictures, not published for children, but portraying a family as it understood itself, and I looked it over often. Not since then have I been moved by photography to that degree. The neat thing Isis that it is on my phone and my kindle. I can thumb one over during the day when I forget to see people and not crowds or annoyances.
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