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Magnum Magnum Hardcover – October, 2008

3.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Hardcover, October, 2008
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Editorial Reviews


A book both quirky and epochal. -- The Wall Street Journal

A great idea, beautifully realized. -- Chicago Tribune

Visually compelling...a collective testament to the complexity of human experience. -- O, The Oprah Magazine

About the Author

Brigitte Lardinois was Cultural Director at Magnum Photos London for more than ten years and is the editor of Magnum Magnum. She lives in London. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 568 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; Compact edition (October 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500543666
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500543665
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 9.8 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,725,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It took me about 2 weeks to go through the book, a few photographers a time. I was quite impressed with the book to about half of the book, after what some doubts started to raise. Yes, as some other reviewers have already pointed out, selection of pictures could be better. Especially in second half of the book I saw more images that I did not enjoy that much (I know that photographers are listed in alphabetical order and that is just a coincidence). Just somehow second half of the book is more boring to me, although there are excellent images present there as well.

I understand that this idea of photographers selecting images of other photographers sounds good but I'm not too impressed by the result, because some selections are rather poor (these minor bad selections spoil overall great impression). In a book of that calible I guess we expect to see best images, not just something different. Good example is also Henri Cartier-Besson's images -- while the selected images are not bad in general, IMO they are quite poor representation of Henri's contribution to photography.

The above of course is only my opinion and my taste may be different to all other people...

Cover of the book is covered with cloth and I'm not sure that is a good thing. The type of the cloth is quite "rough" and I'm sure it will show signs of wear quite soon if you are seeing the book by holding it in hand. There is no dust cover, but the book ships in cardboard box that has carry handle.

Print quality of images is very good. Also paper is superb (semi matte) and does not reflect light at all. Your fingers remain clean even after moving your hand over images continiously, no smearing.
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Format: Hardcover
I found the book disappointing. In some aspects, the physical quality of the book is poor: within days after I recieved it in the mail the black print "Magnum" on the cover title was wearing off. The printing of the photography inside, however, is of excellent reproduction quality.

This book falls far short of the earler anthology MAGNUM DEGREES published a few years ago, and Magnum Magnum costs about three or four times the price! Magnum Degrees was / is a far superior introduction to the work of Magnum Photographers and a stronger selection of photographs, I thought.

However, I should note that the photos in this book are nothing to scoff at! Outstanding photography, as one would expect.

But if you want an introduction to Magnum Photos, don't buy this book. Start with their book MAGNUM DEGREES.
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Format: Hardcover
Weighing in at 15 pounds including its cardboard suitcase this heavily over-dimensioned volume disappoints, because it essentially fails to deliver on much of its promise. It started off as a great idea - Magnum photographers would select what they considered to be - in their view - the six best works of one of their colleagues and explain why they selected these particular images for this collection. I ordered the book expecting to see great reproductions of important photographs and to learn fresh insights into what made these images special. It wasn't to be.

First the production issues: much of the text is hard to read because the typeface is too feint. Double page spreads of single images is a bad idea. For a production this lavish and costly, one would have expected either gatefolds or simply whole page reproductions of the image. Spreading an image accross a double page in a book that cannot open flat chops it and destroys its integrity. The printing quality of the colour images is uneven - a number of them look too contrasty, too saturated and too heavy - one gets the impression the press was over-inked. Second, the content issues: I have a very hard time trying to convince myself, based on what I have seen of a number of these photographers' works, that the selections were the best possible - of course a nearly impossible task and subject to much judgment. There are many images in this collection the intrinsic quality of which eludes me. Therefore I was prepared to be educated, but unfortunately, the quality of explanation for the selections is extremely uneven, ranging from summary to non-existent. People looking for enlightenment on what makes a great image will find some of that here, but not nearly as much as there could have been and should have been.
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Format: Hardcover
True, the book is not your average photo coffee table book. The cardboard transport device which is included to carry it safely around makes this clear. The word Magnum makes evertything clear, a large photo compilation of such institute and with such photographers behind it, should not be found in an A4 sized softcover. So the book is big, and heavy. It makes you to really sit for it and to watch the images one by one, instead of flipping through it in a lazy chair.
The paper, the binding and cover (however watch out with ink on the front cover, it lets loose easily when by accident scratching it) the printing all is very nice and of good quality. Also the photo selection is for me very nice done.

What is nice or not nice is personal and that certainly can be said about the selection. So do not expect a collection of the most famous images ever published by Magnum, you will be disapointed. However the book gives a good view of the diversity of photographs and photographers, which is forming Magnum's photographic wealth.
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