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New York: Portrait Of A City Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 572 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen; Mul edition (September 30, 2010)
  • Language: German, French, English
  • ISBN-10: 3836505142
  • ISBN-13: 978-3836505147
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Reuel Golden graduated in politics from the University of Sussex, England. Formerly the editor of British Journal of Photography and executive editor at Photo District News, he is the author of two books: Masters of Photography and Witness: The World's Greatest News Photographers. He has lectured on photography in London, New York and Los Angeles, and judged numerous photography competitions. He lives in Brooklyn.


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Customer Reviews

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I also love the graphic illustrations, as they truly add to the overall enjoyment.
A voracious reader
The LA book had thirty-nine photographers but as this is New York it takes 124 of them and over 500 photos to expose the city.
Robin Benson
I purchased this book as a gift for my step mom who was very excited to receive it.
Piri Sallack

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on September 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This lovely book follows the same format as Taschen's Los Angeles, Portrait of a City: a history based on named photographers though there are many fine images taken by anonymous snappers. The LA book had thirty-nine photographers but as this is New York it takes 124 of them and over 500 photos to expose the city.

All the regulars are here, photographers who have created that special look over the years. Abbott, Bubley, Eisenstadt, Feininger, Klein, Orkin, Riis and a good showing from Weegee but what I found fascinating was the number photos from anonymous sources. Right up to the late Forties unknowns had taken some quite remarkable shots revealing a particular aspect of the city. Some of these run over spreads throughout the book and they look stunning. Pages 108-109 have that famous shot of the sunlight streaming through windows at Grand Central Terminus, anonymous from 1929.

The book's five chapters look backwards over 160 years starting in 1850 and though maybe one could fault it by only using historical photos rather than a wider range of graphic images I think it succeeds because of this. The city has a long pedigree of photographic interpretation and some of the best works are in these pages. I thought it a plus that so many well-known images are mixed in with the dozens and dozens of not so well known shots and all collected in this big, chunky book. Another plus, least from my point-of-view, is that there are very few photos of popular culture celebrities. The celebrity is the city with nearly all the images exteriors showing the changing landscape, people (mostly just New Yorkers) or just out on the street.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By David Walker on November 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
There have been plenty of monographs about New York, and coffee table books full of visual cliches, but this impressive volume (8 lbs and 560 pages) is in a class by itself. Author Reuel Golden doesn't just round up the predictable photographs here. There are many well-known images, of course, but he has also combed the archives for lesser known and even unknown gems. The result is a rich and varied visual history of the city from about 1850 to the present, told through its people, landscapes, and architecture. Golden divides the book by eras, roughly coinciding with the influx of immigrants after 1850; the period of booms and busts between the two world wars; the post-war prosperity; the city's dark days from the mid 60s to the late 80s; and its relatively triumphant period since then. What shines through is the optimism and aspiration and relentless energy that defines the city, and constantly renews it. For anyone in your life who loves New York, this is the perfect book, at not much more than the cost of a cab ride from La Guardia.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By PV on December 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Amazon Verified Purchase
I could not put this boook down! The pacing conveys the drama and frenetic energy of the city through the last century and a half, and manages to be both photogrphic and social history at once. While not shying away from documenting the city's well-known rough edges (particularly during the crisis years of the 70s), I also found the book to convey a deep respect and love for New York. Love it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Chris on December 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Amazon Verified Purchase
Great book for New York lovers. Brilliant photos, stories and a definate keepsake or coffee table item. It's a big book!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Piri Sallack on January 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Amazon Verified Purchase
I purchased this book as a gift for my step mom who was very excited to receive it. The pictures are beautiful and the shipping was prompt.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A voracious reader on January 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Amazon Verified Purchase
Whether you live in NYC or whether you love the city from afar, the selection of photos in this book is superb. Reuel Golden chose carefully, including photos from well-known photographers as well as relative unknowns. Some of the photos are easily recognized, but others feature different sights in this "photographers' paradise" city. I also love the graphic illustrations, as they truly add to the overall enjoyment. As an aside, the book is quite hefty - but that's all to the better, given the extensive contents.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Grant Richards on August 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Amazon Verified Purchase
Wow, what a great book. It's huge and it captures so much of NYC! This is a wonderful coffee table book as well as a comprehensive pictorial history of New York.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Goodson on January 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is a miraculous example of how a "Portrait of..." of one of the over examined cities in the world can actually edify and succeed. Reuel Golden's insights and some very unique photographic choices are winning. There are, in very good measure, a few photographs you might well know and expect. The book soars, however, based on the images that are fresh in this context - Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro on the set of Taxi Driver, scores of images from "unknown" sources and a wonderful selection of Weegee images. Another great book from Taschen. Thank you Reuel Golden.
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