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Humans of New York : Stories Hardcover – October 13, 2015
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From the Publisher
"On the outside I'm a peaceful and diplomatic person, but on the inside I have a lot of rage. It's hard to walk around and not have a lot of issues. There's too many morons in this world. People are just living in alternate realities. Yesterday there was a crazy homeless man on the subway. I mean really crazy - he's grunting and waving his arms around. And some twenty-one-year-old white girl walks up to him and tries to explain how positive thinking can turn his life around. 'You don't have to be homeless,' she said. 'You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it.' She really had no idea that positive thinking was not going to get the schizophrenic man off the subway."
"This morning I took a bunch of water and soap and put it in plastic bags and shook it up because I wanted to make a store that sold soap. Then I put some toilet paper and water and soap and cake inside a container because I wanted to make an experiment. But Mom said that was not the right way to make soap and if we wanted to make some soap we had to find a recipe online so I made an apology note with invisible ink and it had a flower with a smiley face and zigzag hair and heart hands and it was holding a balloon and I drew the sky and I wrote, 'I love you, Mom.'"
"My parents had me young, so my grandmother raised me. She was already retired when I was born, and started working again just so she could provide for me. Her favorite thing to say is: 'I've got your back.' Whenever something really good happens, or something really bad happens, she will send me a card that says: 'I've got your back.' We live together, but she actually mails the cards to me."
“As the quotes grew longer, and the interviews deeper, Stanton developed a signature storytelling style―one that blends the lure of urban voyeurism with an eye for the extraordinary detail in seemingly ordinary subjects. What makes these photographs compelling is their sincerity, their air of authenticity. All are taken on the spot of first contact. Some people are caught mid-sentence. Even those who pose are free of the sterile stiffness of staged portraits.” ―The Economist
“A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.” ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Some street photographers hide behind phone booths like paparazzi so their subject won't be aware of their presence, but for Stanton it's precisely that awkward interaction, the tearing down of the wall between strangers, that he covets.” ―The Huffington Post
“There's no judgment, just observation and in many cases reverence, making for an inspiring reading and visual experience.” ―Publisher’s Weekly
About the Author
BRANDON STANTON is the creator of the #1 New York Times bestselling book Humans of New York as well as the children's book, Little Humans. He was a 2013 Time Magazine "30 people under 30 changing the world," an ABC News Person of the Week, told stories from around the world in collaboration with the United Nations, and was invited to photograph President Obama in the Oval Office. His photography and storytelling blog, also called Humans of New York is followed by over fifteen million people on several social media platforms. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia and lives in New York City.
Top customer reviews
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While Brandon's first release was an excellent book of photography, it lacked many of the stories behind the individuals. I came to find HONY on facebook and feel the story behind the photo is half the experience. With his newest release, it all comes together to give you the full HONY package that most people have come to know and love. This book is a bargain for all the passion and work that Brandon puts into this project.
If you are deciding on whether or not to buy the book, consider the following, which Brandon posted on the HONY facebook page: "I want to take a quick opportunity to remind everyone that HONY is advertisement free and almost entirely financed by book sales. (The only exception being income from a handful of speeches I give every year.) Proceeds from books have been used to pay for trips to twenty different countries over the past year alone. Even when working with large organizations like the United Nations or UNHCR, I’m always very careful to cover all costs and reimburse any expenses. I do this so that the content on HONY can remain entirely independent, self-directed, and transparent. By purchasing a book, you can help HONY continue to grow in a way that remains focused on telling people’s stories--- and nothing else. Thanks to everyone for your continued support."
Connect with real people. Get out of your box and learn about people different from you. Get to know their story. Support the project. Buy the book!
In his short and poignant stories, combined with beautiful portraits, Brandon captures moments of people's lives, and sometimes an entire life story is captured in a couple of sentences. Many make us cry, some make us laugh, but all of them invariably show us how much we have in common. These posts are read by people across our planet, in every country. And it's heartwarming to see there are people in every country who identify with these stories, as they capture emotions we all have felt some time in our lives. At the very least, we empathize, as these stories give us a window into the subjects' lives.
Like most people, I had already read most of the stories in this book on HONY Facebook page already, it's my daily source of inspiration and hope, joy and sadness, and a feeling of connection with others as we all read his stories and then the comments. Sometimes, people share their own stories in the comments that are equally evocative but more often, they are words of encouragement for the person in the portrait. Sometimes, I think the world is becoming increasingly cynical until I read these comments and then I realize all across the world we our connected by our capacity to feel love, and to empathize. That each one of us is just looking for appreciation, a little love, and a little joy, a bond with their family, and above all peace within. It's a powerful realization, that often brings forth tears. My daughter once commented, "On the grayest days of my life, HONY saves me." And she's right. It does.
The moment this book came out I had to buy it, as it is a precious collection of these stories, this time not just pictures but the stories that accompany the pictures. But it is even greater joy to not have to surf through all the previous posts on HONY but to hold them in your hand (or possess them in digital format) at one time. I rarely ever buy a hardcover physical book any more, but this one I knew I had to get, and I may still buy the Kindle version.
As I read each story all over again, I remember how I felt when I first read it, some are so familiar as I've looked at them again and again as friends reposted them, some are less familiar, but together they all document the human condition, that captures not just the people of New York but all of us, across the globe. Someone once commented HONY should be called HOPE. Not just Humans of New York but Humans of Planet Earth. And they were right.