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The Photobook: A History - Volume 2 Hardcover – October 7, 2006
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"It is a testament to the strength of [Parr's] argument, and to the quality of the titles he has compiled, that there is indeed a current reappraisal of the significance and value of photographer's books."-The Art Book "Fascinating... Beautifully illustrated with three dimensional covers and spreads - as with volume I - we really get an impression of the photo books as an 'object'... An essential guide to existing and budding collectors everywhere... By the time you reach the end if you weren't hooked on the photographic book already, you will be."-Laura Noble, London Independent Photography "[Parr's] international perspective is a major contribution to cultural history."-Ei8ht Photojournalism "Volume II of Martin Parr and Gerry Badger's The Photobook: A History is even more opinionated, eccentric, and invaluable than the first volume."-Photograph "So many photography books are published these days, but here's one that makes sense of all the others."-The New York Times Book Review "To leaf through this book is to journey into the past; its images evoke our existence more poignantly than words can."-Library Journal
About the Author
Martin Parr's celebrated photographs bridge the divide between art and documentary photography. His studies of the idiosyncrasies of mass culture and consumerism around the world, his innovative imagery, and his prolific output have placed him firmly at the forefront of contemporary art. Parr is a member of the international photo agency Magnum Photos, and has recently extended his interest to film-making. He is an avid collector and maker of photobooks. His own photobooks include The Last Resort (1986), Common Sense (1999) and Boring Postcards (Phaidon Press, 1999). The extensive and only monograph on his work, Martin Parr by Val Williams, is published by Phaidon Press.Gerry Badger is a critic, curator and photographer. His published books include Collecting Photography (2002) and John Gossage: Berlin in the Time of the Wall (2005) as well as books on Eugene Atget and Chris Killip (both published by Phaidon Press, 2001). He has curated a number of exhibitions, including `The Photographer as Printmaker' for the Arts Council of Great Britain (1981) and `Through the Looking Glass: Post-war British Photography' (1989) for the Barbican Arts Centre, London.
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Just over two hundred photobooks are considered in nine chapters and like book one each has a technical caption (publisher, size, pages, date etc) and an excellent analysis of the photos and the book. The coverage, as I mentioned is very comprehensive. There is a chapter devoted to books that are not commercially available (The Company Photobook) and the twenty-five covered include a high school yearbook, or chapter six: Looking at Photographs, where the theme is the picture editor as author with twenty-two books. Controversy is not avoided either, chapter eight looks at the work of the New Topographic photographers with their stark takes on blast furnaces, prisons and other potential visual failures of society.
This second book is the same design, with excellent printing and paper, as the first (and to my mind) has the same fault in that there are not enough spreads shown from all the books looked at despite plenty of white space on each page. This does seem an odd editorial oversight when the purpose of the book is to show pages from books full of photographs. The first book had a few examples of many pages from a particular book but I could only find one in this book: a 1957 Norfolk and Western brochure where seventeen pages are shown (out of eighteen) using Winston Link's wonderful train photos
Look through the 656 pages of these two books and you'll soon realise that Badger and Parr have achieved a remarkably lively study. Surely the photobook gold standard.
All in all an exquisite reference book. Enjoy...T