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Max Beckmann and the Self (Pegasus Library) Paperback – March 1, 2003

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Product Details

  • Series: Pegasus Library
  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Prestel Publishing (March 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3791328778
  • ISBN-13: 978-3791328775
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,193,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By meadowreader on June 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Max Beckmann's paintings are famously difficult ("hermetic" is the term of art), so much so that interpretations of the same work can differ wildly from one "expert" to another. In fact, it's commonly said that he never intended that some, at least, of his paintings could be decoded -- so make of them what you will.

Beckett takes a different approach, identifying and then tracing a common theme through his art, across the whole of Beckmann's creative life. The theme is described as the artist's lifelong quest to identify his own "self," on the assumption that such an entity must be there to be found, elusive as it would always remain. Excerpts from Beckmann's diaries and other writings provide evidence for this obsession, and it in turn makes for interesting, coherent, and plausible interpretations of works that are otherwise merely mysterious. If you are looking for a path into the Beckmann forest, this short, elegantly written, and nicely illustrated book might just be the best place to start.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. Allen Krause on January 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Though occasionally repetitious, Svonkin's book does a very good job recreating the challenges faced by the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, and the American Jewish Congress in post-war (WWII) America. These agencies developed different strategies to deal with anti-Semitism, but then expanded to a concern for prejudice against other groups, particularly African-Americans during the years of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. An interesting and informative read which reflects fine scholarship.
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