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Magnum Stories Hardcover – December 1, 2004

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Magnum Stories + Magnum Contact Sheets (Int'l Center of Photography, New York: Exhibition Catalogue) + The Americans
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press; First edition (December 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714842451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714842455
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 11.4 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Imagine having 61 widely published photographers from around the world candidly discuss their careers and beliefs while showing you key images from their portfolios. That is the engaging concept of Magnum Stories. From Iran-born Abbas (whose career began with a series about the Vietcong in the 1970s) to Patrick Zachmann (who has documented the lives of Malian immigrants in his native France), each photographer is given ample space to talk about his or her work. Editor Chris Boot accompanies the interviews with a brief explanation of the cultural or political background of each suite of images. The one thing the interviewees have in common is past or current membership in Magnum, a photographers' cooperative founded in 1947 by Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson and David Seymour as a means of breaking free from the editorial tyranny of Life and other photo-based magazines. Boot's introduction deftly summarizes Magnum's history and the practicalities of postwar photography. The presence of vintage "Magnum stories" by such photographers as Erich Hartmann ("Our Daily Bread") and W. Eugene Smith ("Country Doctor") adds a welcome historical dimension. While the founding generation were mostly photo-journalists who organized their images into visual "stories," today's members often pursue topics of personal interest with photographs that do not relate a straightforward narrative. These topics range from outlaw biker gangs in the U.S. (Dennis Stock) to the mountain peoples of Laos, Guatemala and Georgia (John Vink), from the tacky seaside resort of New Brighton in Liverpool, England (Martin Parr) to Siberian prison camps (Carl De Keyzer). With nearly 800 illustrations, this distinctive, square-format book offers a kaleidoscopic survey of the many faces of documentary photography. —-Cathy Curtis


'marvellous ... how some of the world's best pictures were taken, edited and laid out in order to make the perfect statement' Sunday Times 'lavish, well-illustrated, and important' Daily Telegraph 'embracing gritty realism, glamour, intimacy and humour.' Esquire 'gives the reader some fascinating insights into [the photographers'] extraordinary book.' British Journal of Photography 'A marvelous new photo collection' Business Week 'The kaleidoscope of world events and prominent figures found within these pages is astounding' Library Journal

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tom on April 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is not your usual photo book -- it's real value and what makes it different is the stories inside. Inside, 61 Magnum photographers have written 2-page story about themselves, about why they take pictures, how they work etc. As the book also features photos and/or photo story from each photographer, they also share "inside" information about presented pictures and their background.

I truly recommend this book to all people who have serious interest in documentary photography and like reading/seeing interviews with photographers. If you just want to see pictures and not interested in personalities, then perhaps you should take a look at Magnum Degrees or other similar books.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Edwards on May 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a brilliant anthology of the "decisive moments" of the collective individuals who made up the legendary photo agency, Magnum.

Magnum Stories allows one to peer into the mind's eye of the most influential photojournalists of the 20th Century; part history book (as Rodger would have intended), part art book (as HCB would have intended), part photographic teaching book (as Capa would have intended), part autobiography(ies) book, and all at a price that Chim would have appreciated.

One is encouraged to read (simultaneously, if possible) Russell Miller's "Magnum - Fifty Years At The Front Line Of History" to complete the "Big Picture" of the individual Decisive Moments to fully understand the impact of the brilliant artifice constructed by Capa, Chim, HCB and Rodger in that noteworthy spring of 1947.

That said, one would have wished that the other significant actors in the House of Magnum, such as Ernest Haas, Sebastiao Salgado and Mary-Ellen Mark, would have been included in Magnum Stories. Otherwise - Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MIRIAM on January 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The pictures and content are outstanding!! Information of each photographer and time in history is just amazing! I also love the quality of the paper.
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