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Faces of Africa: Thirty Years of Photography (National Geographic Collectors Series) Hardcover – January 6, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I was first riveted by their portraits of African women at a small gallery in London. Their photographs had such a powerful effect that I was driven to leave home and family to come and see it for myself." — Africa News

About the Author

Carol Beckwith has been cited by United Press International as "foremost among photographers who have recorded the cultures of Africa." She is the author of Masai, Nomads of Niger, and African Ark.

Angela Fisher is the author of the internationally acclaimed Africa Adorned, and African Ark, co-authored with Beckwith.
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Product Details

  • Series: National Geographic Collectors Series
  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic; illustrated edition edition (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426204248
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426204241
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When ordering this book, make sure to check the dimensions or ISBN, or you may inadvertently order a smaller edition. The fact that there are two different ones is not noted anywhere that I can see. I'm not sure why one would want such gorgeous photos in such a limitingly small size - perhaps to fit pygmy coffee tables? In any case:

The larger edition is 9 x 8.9 x 1.1"
ISBN-10: 079226830X
ISBN-13: 978-0792268307

The smaller edition is 6.6 x 6.1 x 1.2"
ISBN-10: 1426204248
ISBN-13: 978-1426204241

That said - I've been a fan of Beckwith and Fisher's work for a long time. This volume is a beauty, and I do wish all their previous works were still in print to go along with it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to give this book 5 stars but I have other books of these photographers and many of the pictures are repeated over and over again in all their books.
Buyer beware of that, you may only need to purchase 1 or 2 of their books.
Fortunately, I bought this book for my artist brother-in- law, who enjoyed all the different, beautiful looks of Africa. that alone gets high ratings.
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Format: Hardcover
"Recording the Past, Supporting the Future", while Ruining the Present. Please do not buy this book. These two photographers are extremely unethical. I've seen them work during a festival in Burkina Faso and it was a disgrace for Western civilization. The aura of absolute entitlement was around Bekwith&Fisher during the multi-day festival as they stood/sat within less than a foot of the performers, covering the performance from all the locals (of which there were thousands and who were much further from the performance at the places designated for spectators). This was equivalent of someone climbing on the stage of the theater performance and standing right in front of the actors the whole duration of the performance. I talked to the organizers and they were upset with such behavior, but their hospitality didn't allow them to ask these women to be respectful. The cost of you being able to see moments of foreign culture are pretty steep here. The cost is ruining the same moments (except that they mean a lot more) for the people of that culture.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought the book after I saw the work of the two photographers in the show No Stranger. This book is diappointing and unimpressive: small photos (I know, I should have noticed the small size of the book...). I'm just glad it wasn't expensive.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a black woman that knows only of her American heritage, I thought this book would help me connect with my African ancestry because not much here in America does. Great book of images of African cultures that have not been tainted by the colonization that destroyed it and them!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was happy with the book...the recipient of my gift said it seemed the pictures were of "extremes"..that there are many "faces" that would have been good to include that weren't so decorated... but, she also said she loved the book & had seen many of the "faces" in her travels.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been a collector of Carol Beckwith's photographic work for over twenty years! The Faces of Africa book is colorful and informative. I enjoy reading the author's description on the significance of the subjects' photographed. If you've never been to Africa like me, but are interested in learning a little about African cultures through pictures, this book is worth collecting.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an African-American who deeply enjoys readings on all aspects of Africa---- especially the historical---- I found FACES OF AFRICA to be much, much more than simply a photographic collection of African peoples. Unlike many studies, and essays, and articles and photographs on Africa,(that have a political or social agenda) this collection of photographs has an apolitical honesty about it that is both refreshing and informative at the same time. This collection of photographs covers 30 years of the many African cultures as they; celebrate their rites of passages; as they love and care for their babies from (before) birth to (after) death. It is anthropological, sociological and psychological at the same time that it is informative and enlightening. I particularly like the chapters on "The Joy of Being," " The Pulse of an Ancient Land," and "Patterns of Beauty."
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