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Live Steam: Paddlewheel Steamboats on the Mississippi System Hardcover – October 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Over 100 sepia duotone photographs of life aboard the six extant paddlewheel steamboats plying the inland waterways of the Mississippi River system comprise this art photography book. Kral has previously authored two other photographic books, Florida's Enduring Cowboys and Hotbloods: Beyond the Winner's Circle, a 2000 PMA Benjamin Franklin Award winner, and has been a staff photographer for the Miami Herald for 16 years. The monochromatic snapshots of boat crews at work and play evoke a time apart from the present century and reveal scenes that the typical passenger never glimpses. Aside from a brief introduction, no text accompanies the photographs; evoking a particular ambiance seems to subsume the need to identify people, places, or tasks at hand. For the curious, however, an index arranged by page number and accompanied by stamp-sized reproductions of pictures from the book gives concise captions. Each of the steamboats is briefly profiled in a paragraph that details dimensions, passenger and crew allowances, and builders and owners. Recommended for academic or public libraries with strong art photography collections. Kathleen M. Conley, Illinois State Univ. Lib., Normal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Photojournalist Kral, a staff photographer for the Miami Herald and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, gives readers a behind-the-scenes look aboard the last six paddlewheel steamboats operating on the 15,000 miles of the inland waterways known as the Mississippi River system. Three of the steamers carry day excursionists and the other three offer luxurious overnight lodging and fine dining. Deckhands and engineers, expected to do double duty, also serve as bartenders and entertainers. The 110 duotone photos include scenes of the ships' crews at work and--in a few instances--at rest. Among the other photographs are shots of the American Queen's luxurious dining room, its proscenium stage, and its captain presiding over cocktails; the Mississippi Queen's galley (where 1,656 meals are prepared each day); the Belle of Louisville's dance floor; and the Delta Queen's grand staircase. An introduction by Jon Ward complements these engaging photographs. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Longwind Publishing (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892695006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892695000
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 11.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,150,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jon Ward on November 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"Live Steam" arrived today and it is absolutely fabulous. The pictures are breathtaking and showcase so many interesting aspects of the working steamboat and the people behind the scenes. Even the simplest task is brought to life with this book. The black and white portrayal in these photos is more vivid and colorful than any technicolor presentation could be of the same images. You have created a beautiful piece of art. We think the book is wonderful and in a class of it's own. You said you expected this book to surpass the previous two books and we think you have definitely done that with "Live Steam"!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Live Steam blends history with art and photography, providing a visual examination of paddlewheel steamboats on the Mississippi River which is photographed aboard all six remaining steamboats. Live Steam profiles not just the boats but their inner operations: while the approach is visual with brown duotones providing glimpses of operations and operators, it provides an important documentary of modern steamboat operations.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jon Kral is one of America's hidden photographic treasures. In his more than 30 years as a photographer for the Miami Herald - when it really was a newspaper worth reading - Kral covered pretty much everything, from prison conditions in Latin America, to wars, to the daily 'stuff' that takes up much of a newspaper photographer's energy, and sucks many a shooter creatively dry.But Kral was not sucked dry, and in Live Steam and other monographs he demonstrates that he is one of the best photographic observers of what might be called Americana, capturing stories that taken together, are the American story.
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