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Steam: An Enduring Legacy: The Railroad Photographs of Joel Jensen Hardcover – October 17, 2011


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Steam: An Enduring Legacy: The Railroad Photographs of Joel Jensen + A Steam Odyssey: The Railroad Photographs of Victor Hand + Some Vernacular Railroad Photographs
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (October 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393082482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393082487
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 12.1 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #971,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joel Jensen lives in Ely, Nevada.

John Gruber, the author of Classic Steam: Timeless Photographs of North American Steam Railroading, lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Scott Lothes, a frequent contributor to train magazines, lives in Oregon City, Oregon.

Jeff Brouws is a fine art photographer and part-time writer who has nine books to his credit, authoring five on railroads alone, the latest being The Call of Trains: The Railroad Photographs of Jim Shaughnessy. A book of his own photographs Approaching Nowhere (also from Norton) was published in 2006. His work can be found in major institutional collections around the country including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Princeton University Art Museum and Harvard's Fogg Museum. He resides in New York with his wife Wendy Burton.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David Styffe on October 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I first opened my copy of this book, it looked and felt very familiar. Those who value their copies of: a) A Passion for Trains: The Railroad Photography of Richard Steinheimer; b) The Call of Trains: Railroad Photographs by Jim Shaughnessy; and/or c) Requiem for Steam: The Railroad Photographs of David Plowden; will find a worthy companion in this volume. The size, design, fine-arts presentation, and printing of this book are identical to those three. And the photography presented in these pages is worthy of the comparison too.

I know, that's saying a lot...but I can say no less.

I thought I was familiar with Joel's work, which recently has gained attention for a post-modern look at railroading (Railroad Noir: The American West at the End of the Twentieth Century (Railroads Past and Present) with Linda Niemann) and the Fall 2010 issue of the NRHS Bulletin dedicated entirely to his photographs of (mostly) deteriorating railroad depots accompanied by Alexander Craghead's scholarly essay on the depot's place in the American landscape. I was also familiar with much of his work that was more in line with what we would consider to be straightforward railroad photography, yet infused with a unique and recognizable perspective.

But I wasn't ready for this.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Craghead on October 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The railroad, and especially the steam locomotive, has been profound to the American culture. Especially in the Western regions of the U.S., where the railroad was integral to the development of modern civilization, the steam locomotive's memory lives on in the collective imagination, despite the fact that the such machines ceased to be a meaningful force in the region's economy more than half a century ago. Their endurance has something to do with their now foreign technological nature -- they are devices with their workings on the outside, crude yet elegant mechanical marvels that seem to breathe, seem to have a pulse, seem to be alive. Across the country, dozens upon dozens of steam locomotives survive in working order, cared for by loving and often unpaid crews, and run on numerous tourist and museum railroads. Many photo books on this subjects have been published -- the steam locomotive with its built-in special effects is a sort-of camera magnet, after all -- but few manage to rise beyond being overwrought photo albums. There is always something slightly treacly, slightly forced about these books, possibly because there is often something of the same nature in their subjects, a feeling of canned history. Yet somehow, Joel Jensen has created a work that surpasses these, a book that shows us preserved steam as merely a continuation of an unbroken tradition going back to the workaday, pre-digital world. In Steam: An Enduring Legacy, Jensen gives us not only a glimpse into a harder, grittier, sweatier side of preserved steam, but also a work of excellent photography that stands as an artistic achievement in its own right.

The book is not a guidebook but an extended photographic journey through the survivors of the steam era.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PattyF on July 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gave to my husband who likes photography and trains. I could tell from description that it was recent photos of trains still running and could see the photos were black and white - I could also tell that these were beautiful photographs. The book was all of these things and my husband likes it. The only disappointment is that it is all trains from the western U.S. It would have been nice to see some from across whole country. Very nice book for someone who enjoys photography - perhaps not as much for someone only interested in railroading.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Bannister on October 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I -WAS- going to write a review of this luscious volume. I was going to try to convince potential buyers to stop foolin' around and buy it!

I was going to say something that would give the reader a bit of insight into Joel Jensen... but after reading the foregoing comments, anything I'd say would just demonstrate how inarticulate I can be.

Try this; read out loud (emphasis on "loud") the reviews already written, BUY THE BOOK and wait with anticipation for it's delivery. In about a week, you'll be rewarded. Sit down with some Jim or other beverage and tell others to leave you alone.

Did I say, "Buy this book."; well... stop messing around!
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