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LIFE: Century of Change: America in Pictures 1900-2000 Hardcover – October 30, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bulfinch; 1st edition (October 30, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821226975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821226971
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.7 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,325,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

From the time of its founding in 1936 to its final monthly issue in May 2000, Life magazine chronicled the world around us. In Life: Century of Change, the editors have assembled a jaw-dropping assortment of quintessentially American images. The 723 photographs from the Life archives present a composite portrait of an evolving nation by focusing on 10 key areas of American life and culture. Thoughtful essays by writers, including Stephanie Coontz on family, John R. Stilgoe on the American home, and Thomas Hine on industrial design, add depth, but the real stars of the book are the photographs: New York's modest decorations for New Year's Eve 1899, a sagging couple at a dance marathon, the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, a young Hugh Hefner surrounded by Playboy bunnies, Christa McAuliffe training at zero G's three months before the Challenger disaster, Collins and Venter standing before a giant depiction of the completed human genome map, Elián González pitching a baseball while a wall of cameramen looks on. Century of Change is both informative and deeply entertaining--and proof positive that a picture is worth a thousand words.

From Library Journal

DK. 2000. 1023p. photogs. index. ISBN 0-7894-6806-9. $50. PHOTOG Compiling photographs to convey a sense of time and place is not nearly as easy as some might think. Weighing in at ten pounds, America: A Celebration! could fool readers into thinking that it contained every photograph ever shot in America. Instead, it is Sandler's harvest of 19th- and 20th-century photos from the files of Getty Images, an enormous photo library. The ethic behind this bulk seems to be that more is more, and why show less if you can show it all? Though some 19th-century work begins the book, the 20th century quickly takes over. Photographs are clustered by decade. But within each chapter the assembly is random a little landscape here, some celebrities there, popular culture foibles sprinkled in, and a visual chaos throughout. Sandler (American Images) had his book blessed by a fine foreword by Walter Cronkite. But the author's enthusiasm turned into a jumble of pictures rather than a coherent historical portrait of America. Not recommended. LIFE magazine remained true to its purpose of giving readers/viewers their world in weekly visual nuggets since its own life began in 1936. It weathered television for six decades, finally ending as a monthly in May 2000. LIFE: Century of Change is a volume built on 723 photographs from the magazine's rich archives. Suffering lives appear next to riches in this book, so broad it is forced to be shallow, racing across the surface of a century with a well-aimed camera in hand. Less a tool for learning than a snapshot, this is a gift book to spark memories rather than an effort to open up the 20th century for review. Recommended as a book for browsing if budgets allow. In Photos That Changed the World, Stepan (Icons of Photography) gives us 105 images that had the lasting visual power to capture a moment that could be the image of an era held in the instant of a shutter's click for distribution to a generation. Many of the photographs collected around the theme of "changing the world" are familiar. Some were used as propaganda; all are useful as our tie to the events they depict. Sometimes their photographers are anonymous because of fear of reprisals, and many of the images were widely reproduced to build public opinion. The photos are well reproduced and gain from the explanations of time, place, and context included in the excellent short essays that accompany each. Recommended. David Bryant, New Canaan Lib., CT
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Rene R. Daugherty on March 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It only took a few moments with this book to realize that it was a waste of money. Mr. Stolley seems to have a politically correct agenda which he is seeking to push as opposed to a sense of the changes and events that were important to America in the 20th Century. How anyone can purport to present a photographic history of America without sections on the following (to suggest a few) is more than I can understand: The Wright Brothers and Aviation, WWI and WWII, The Bomb and the Arms Race, The McCarthy Witch Hunts, Sputnik and the Race to the Moon, The Civil Rights Movement, Viet Nam, Watergate
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Blum on November 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
If you buy a book with "LIFE" imprinted on the cover, you know you're going to get a quality product for your buck, and this is especially true if you're a connoisseur of fine photographs.

Such is the case with Century of Change, a big (nearly 400-page) book that is meant as a companion volume to America In Pictures.
This volume attempts to show us how we changed in the last millennium and does that in ten sections that muse about and illustrate the themes: the home, machines, life span and medical advances, design, family, shopping and the consumer economy, sex, celebrity, entertainment and racial and ethnic diversity.
The book delivers with its photos, cutlines, layout and overall organization.
But it gets all knotted up when we get to the important introductory text to each section. The editor, Richard Stolley, selected academic eggheads to write these pieces, and most of them read like bad chapters in bad textbooks. The text is a bona fide excursion into pretentious gobbledygook, guaranteed to give you a headache.
Enjoy the pictures, but get out the bottle of Tylenol if you plan to read the introductions to each section.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "g2004" on December 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In typical fashion, the people of LIFE magazine have put out another incredible book that uses pictures and words to bring to life both the incredible and the normal facets of 20th century America. Pictures often communicate better than words, and this book only reinforces this point. We remember pictures. They stick with us. They pass on stories, and they allow us who now live in the 21st century to experience, in a little way, the past that got us to where we are now.
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By Dr. Wilson Trivino on April 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Seems like last century was a long time ago these days that we live in the teens of the 2000. However being born in that century I am a bit nostalgic.
In the beautifully put together photography book: Life: Century of Change- America in Picture 1900-2000, it is the best of what Life has to offer. This catalogue is the perfect coffee table book to be able to skim and reminisce about how far we have come from the early 1900s.
The heading are broad and cover home, family, machines, entertainment, lifespan, we the people, shopping, sex, design and celebrity. There is a bit of a narrative before each section from scholars of their field.
I especially like looking at the early 1900, the housing, the technology at the time, the music that made it funky. Interesting how there were some photographs that showcased how young the newsmakers were when they made their mark. As one when Donald Trump, age 45 went to an outing to Kmart with his son and Ivana, where his credit card was turned away for cash, in another shot Hugh Hefner with the bunnies in tow. On a local note, being from Georgia, there is a photograph of our former Senior Senator Max Cleland as he is crossing a busy street in Washington talking on a clunker of an old school cellular phone.
Lots of great photos that capture a moment in time from a century that becoming a long time ago, a joy to read and reminisce from a grand century.
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13 of 25 people found the following review helpful By mistermaxxx08 HALL OF FAME on November 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Life Magazine has always done a great job of presenting different images of AMerica.the Pictures have always captured the changing faces of our times.a great overview of history&People that have impacted Society.
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