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Iconic America: A Roller-Coaster Ride through the Eye-Popping Panorama of American Pop Culture Hardcover – November 6, 2007

21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Since launching his menswear collection in 1985, Tommy Hilfiger has become one of the most popular designers in America. Today, his collections include an entire range of apparel and products. This is his third book. George Lois is an art director renowned for daring advertising campaigns. In the 1960s, he conceived some of Esquire’s most famous covers. Lois is in the Art Director’s Hall of Fame, the Copywriters Hall of Fame, has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Society of Publication Designers, and has been a subject of the Master Series at the School of Visual Arts.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Universe (November 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789315734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789315731
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.4 x 12.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,498,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on April 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Though the cover line refers to `A roller-coaster ride through the eye-popping panorama of American pop culture' the book, fortunately, has a much further reach than just pop. With about four hundred subjects covered and obviously reflecting the hopes and aspirations of the two authors I thought the book was a fine celebration of Americanism.

Firstly though the book is a visual treat. Designer George Lois has handled a whole range of graphic material brilliantly, especially in presenting similar items on the same spread: a photo of James Brown (The godfather of soul) facing Marlon Brando (The godfather of film) or Babe Ruth facing a Baby Ruth candy bar or a spread with a photo of an apple pie (As American as apple pie) and an Apple logo (Apple changes the American lifestyle). Another lovely design touch is running five Burma-Shave signs over five pages (The bearded lady/Tried a jar/She's now a famous/Movie star!/Burma-Shave).

Lois has blended all the personality photos, product shots, logos, paintings, cartoons and display typography together beautifully and the 175dpi printing on quality paper makes everything sparkle. The design treatment did remind of a similar strong visual book covering the same subject 1,001 Reasons to Love America (1,001 Reasons to Love).

I liked the wide-ranging coverage of icons throughout the pages and nicely not necessarily positive ones. Page seventy-one features the Enron logo, page 135 has a cutout photo of a lemon with Edsel printed on it, also included are a few frames from the Zapruder home movie of Kennedy's death likewise a photo of OJ Simpson, in court, trying on a glove.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By D. Vorenkamp on December 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a really great book, that takes you on a historical journey through American culture. A real treat!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marlee H. on August 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I think this is a VERY awesome book and actually a history of life in America. I just want to caution anyone who MAY be shocked by a Playboy, nude centerfold in the middle of the book. I had bought the book for an elder member of my family and hadn't realized the photo was there. It was not well received. The photo may actually make you WANT to purchase the book now but just in case you may be offended...just know that it IS there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Webb on February 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
We enjoyed the book very much and we've shared it with our friends and family. We were disappointed that "Iconic America" was printed in China.
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Format: Hardcover
This oversize coffee-table book, finally available at a popular price (it was originally brought out at about $65), is rather like a less text-oriented version of America A to Z: People, Places, Customs, and Culture. But it makes up for its lack of words with dazzling full-color photographs, many of them full-page and some even gatefold. Hilfiger and Lois cover American icons that range from those that put a lump in our throats (the Liberty Bell, the Declaration of Independence, Mount Rushmore), to those that make us chuckle ("The Studio 54 Phenomenon" and Pac-Man) to those that evoke the less-than-perfect about our country (slave chains, the Watergate scandal), with stops along the way at well-known performers (John Wayne, Tupac Shakur, Marlene Dietrich, Janis Joplin, Elvis, and "the eight greatest crooners in the history of popular music," to wit, Crosby, Sinatra, Garland, Astaire, Tony Bennett, Nat "King" Cole, Lena Horne, and Ella Fitzgerald), history (the Forty-Niners, the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima), art (Georgia O'Keeffe, Leutze's Washington Crossing the Delaware, Albert Eisenstaedt's famous VJ-Day photo of the sailor and the girl in Times Square), journalism (USA Today), activists of note (Malcolm X, Martin Luther King), objects (Barbie, the Wurlitzer juke box), places (Las Vegas), personalities (Yogi Berra), clothing (the cowboy hat and boots, the aloha shirt), fictional characters (Popeye)--every category that goes into defining pop culture.Read more ›
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By El Jimbo on December 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The title of this review stems from my reaction to the size and heft of this book when I first saw it. Clocking in at some 300+ pages, and a hefty size, it's one monster of a book. And it has just about everything that is a part of the American iconography over the past 225+ years of existence. It has Burma shave signs. It has Andy Warhol. It has the Nike Swoosh. It has apple pie. It has Santa Claus.

Tommy Hilfiger may not be the best writer in the world, but he does have an eye for the most memorable icons of the past almost 2½ centuries. There are iconic paintings that have captured American History and Americana (Leutze's Washington Crossing the Delaware and Wood's American Gothic to name a couple). There are the brand names that are associated with America (Mc Donald's the Pillsbury doughboy and the previously mentioned Nike swoosh). Cinematic memories (Frankenstein, Dracula, Jimmy Stewart, etc.) architecural masterpieces (the Guggenheim, the Empire State Building, Penn Station, etc.) and moments in history (The Hindenburg, the Kennedy assasination, Lou Gehrig's farewell speech) all vie for your attention in these pages.

Some may be scandalized by the appearance of an actual Playboy centerfold (from a 1971 issue) in these pages, or a picture of a topless bikini by Rudi Gernreich, but myself I was more scandalized by the pictures of Michael Jackson and O. J. Simpson and their respectively famous gloves. Yeech!
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