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LIFE: Diana At 50 Hardcover – June 28, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The editors at LIFE vigorously carry on the traditions of excellence in photography, in journalism, and in telling the story of our country and our world which began with LIFE magazine in 1936 by founding editor and publisher, Henry R. Luce. They have published boooks on a broad range of subjects, including New York Times bestsellers One Nation, LIFE Picture Puzzle and The American Journey of Barack Obama.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Life (June 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603202196
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603202190
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #832,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer from Queens on July 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The best part of the book were the wonderful photographs, some I never saw before. They included a photo of Diana's beautiful grandmother Cynthia Spencer, holding Diana's father John Spencer when he was an infant; a candid photo of Charles and Diana before the wedding; pictures of Charles and Diana on the Australian tour when things were going well between them; Lady Diana Spencer in her engagement outfit standing by a window; and others that were very special. However, the editors apparently to be politically correct and not offend Charles and Camilla, used some negativity re: Diana even putting out unproven gossip including saying she "may or may not have had" a physical affair with Barry Mannakee (which Diana flatly denied on the Settelen tapes); having a rather tasteless series of photographs of Diana's alleged lovers, even Will Carling who is on record for denying any affair with Diana. Neither Gilbey nor Hoare never publicly confirmed or denied having an affair. The only one confirmed was James Hewitt whom Diana named publicly and Hewitt admitted. Also in rather bad taste, the editors put out the tired gossip about Harry being fathered by Hewitt (the editors denied this but why even mention it in a tribute to Diana). What was cringe worthy was the writers saying Camilla could have used the Princess of Wales title but didn't want to bother those in the "cult of Diana." I think Camilla was advised not to use it and would have used the title in a heartbeat. And what "cult of Diana?" There are people who are her fans and don't like the way she was treated by her husband and his mistress--I would hardly call this a "cult." The editors also heavily rely on Tina Brown's book and her opinions(who despite her claims appears to be (in my opinion) no friend of Diana).Read more ›
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Inga Walton on August 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Contents-wise this book is very disappointing, and represents a missed opportunity to publish some new, updated and/or different material on a much-loved global figure. The 4-11 July issue of "Newsweek" with the photo-shopped image of Diana with her would-have-been daughter-in-law, the new Duchess of Cambridge, startled and offended many. Bringing out an 'anniversary' title to 'celebrate' a milestone birthday Diana never reached does rather stretch credibility to start with, so I was expecting something more substantial than this very token effort from "Life". It is a shame they chose not to engage in any meaningful way with how Diana has been perceived since her death, and the tone of the text is both unduly gossipy and facile.

Although this is pitched as a 'tribute', and therefore a certain amount of 'fluff' is to be expected, the lack of material addressing Diana's enduring legacy and appeal is puzzling and frustrating to say the least. The exhaustive French and British enquiries into the accident, the self-important ranting of Mohamed al-Fayed, the conspiracy theories and apportioning of blame, the post-Diana attitude of the wider public to the British Royal family, the ultimate 'triumph' and grudging acceptance of Camilla Parker-Bowles as Charles' second wife, and the continuing media harassment of those in the public eye are obviously subjects of too sobering a nature to be of interest to the writers. Nonetheless, the "Diana: A Celebration" touring exhibition from Althorp, the work of the Memorial Fund, the exhibition "Diana, Princess of Wales by Mario Testino" at Kensington Palace (2005), and other events commemorating Diana's life and work over the intervening fourteen years would have been eminently suitable for inclusion.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Pushed 60 on July 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I gave the book four stars because of the photographs. I'm surprised that TimeLife would publish a book that did not live up to its title. It was another biography of Diana and although "nice" to read, rehashed her life and speculated some on what she might have been doing now. Note to Life's editors: when I was in the tenth grade I would have been called to task for the fifth sentence in the book: "...raised in an archaic tradition that didn't ask scholarship of its young women but instead put a premium on THEM being proper and presentable." Have the rules of grammar changed? Shouldn't this be "their being proper...?" If so, shame on Life. If not, my education has become "archaic." If you like nice pictures, buy the book. If you want to learn something new about Diana, get it in the library. I chose to buy it and I'm glad I did.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra J. Carnahan on December 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
From a LIFE book, I was expecting extensive photographs (especially generally uncirculated ones), excellent writing, and an overview of the life of Princess Diana. Furthermore, from the title "Diana at 50", I was expecting a speculation of what her legacy is today, how people remember her today, and possibly even what she would be doing today if her life had not ended tragically at the age of 36. Maybe even a rendition of what she might look like at 50. However, I was sorely disappointed with this book.

While I was pleased to see some photographs that I had never seen before, I was disappointed that there were not many more photographs. Diana was the "most photographed woman in the world" and LIFE is a photographic journal, and yet there were far too few photos. Furthermore, numerous of the photos used were grainy, which I feel is unacceptable with the quality of publication and photography. These grainy photographs were not long-range photos, either, but similar shots of photos we see "regularly", such as one of Diana with Mother Teresa.

The writing of this book was atrocious. It vacillated from a professional, journalistic feel to a 6th grade conversation, with it most often leaning far closer to the 6th grade! The style was juvenile, far too much slang was used for a journalistic book, and it often either repeated irrelevant information (numerous, unnecessary, references were made to William and Kate's wedding...over and over again!) or commented upon information that I found not only unnecessary but close to disturbing. (Information that may perfectly well be true, but is inappropriate to mention for any reason whatsoever.
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