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Suburbia Hardcover – November 2, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Fotofolio Inc (November 2, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1881270408
  • ISBN-13: 978-1881270409
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 10.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #582,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It's long overdue that this 1972 rare cult classic book was republished. In the early 70s, photographer Owens acted as an anthropologist objectively documenting suburban inhabitants, their native environs, and their daily rituals. By pairing the images with quotes made by the subjects, Owens has created a hilarious and absurd account of life in the suburbs. Tupperware parties, backyard barbecues, and going to the hairdresser have never been so riveting! You must own this book!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The 1973 original edition, which contained only black-and-white photos, may not have been to everyone's taste. I went to the library and compared the "NEW & IMPROVED" (as the red 8-pointed star on the cover proclaims) 1999 edition with the old. The new edition is a lot better. First, some photos that did not have much impact for me (e.g., a shot of adults kissing on Halloween) have been deleted. Second, 18 pages of color photos (some of which have the gaudy color combinations typical of the 1970s) and a number of B&W photos were added. Third, the order of photos is more meaningful; for example, "I believe in women's liberation" was the second photo in the old edition but is on page 21 in the new edition (opposite a depiction of two chairs and a TV). Fourth, Owen's editor Shimshak has added captions for photos that previously had none (e.g., on pages 16-17). Finally, there is a new introduction by journalist David Halberstam.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm delighted to see this book available again. Last year I spent $100 for a copy (well worth it!) because it was out of print. I plan to buy the new version for the additional pictures promised. I've been fascinated with this book since I was a kid (and his other out-of-print books). I have too much to say about Bill Owens' work and not nearly enough room! I love "Suburbia" and would highly recommend it to anyone who loves to study people just "doing their thing".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on February 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I think this new edition of Bill Owens wonderful book is slightly better than the original. Having both editions I find that although the halftone screen is less than the original (first edition was over 200, this edition is 170) the printing quality and paper are better, giving the photos more depth. After all these years the images still look fresh and fascinating and the amount of detail the photos contain is amazing. As far as I am aware no other book comes close in capturing the feel of the American suburb of thirty odd years ago.

The book is always favourably mentioned in photo history books as an example of the 'new topography' with photographers like Lewis Baltz, Robert Adams and Stephen Shore and the critics suggest that the citizens of this suburbia lead superficial lives because they live there. But they can't get round the fact these folk, living in Livermore Amador Valley, California, or perhaps three thousand miles away in Levittown, Long Island enjoy the life-style of suburban living and Owens photos capture this feeling so well.

On the visual strength of 'Suburbia' I bought another book of Bill Owens photos, 'Working: I do it for the money', published in 1977, a super collection of photos showing Americans at work and like 'Suburbia' it includes many observations from those in the photos. Well worth searching out for.

***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
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