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Showing 1-10 of 50 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 61 reviews
on November 14, 2011
I spent the weekend reading this book cover to cover. I love the idea of PILGRIMAGE and am inspired that Annie Leibovitz can take her incredible talent and use it for self-discovery while taking stunning photos to share with the world. I was fascinated by the subjects she chose and their interelationships. What I didn't like is that the photographs and the text describing them are often many pages apart, and the narrative about an individual or place is interrupted by pages of photographs on a completely different subject. However, I am very glad that I purchased the book and know that I will go back to it again and again.
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on January 21, 2012
This photographer is one of the best of the best. Whoever did her printed layout did a terrible job. The photos are not placed with her written words and it is distracting and unpleasant to read and view. You have to keep flipping through to place what picture goes with what she is talking about. In spite of the wonderful photographs (and they are exactly as good as you would expect) I would never have bought this book had I known how poorly it was put together.
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on February 13, 2012
One would think that a photographer of Annie Leibovitz' stature would merit a sharp layout editor, but sadly - this book proves otherwise.

The text and photos are completely jumbled, so that you're reading about one experience while seeing photos about another - for instance, reading about her journey to learn more about Eleanor Roosevelt while seeing photos connected with Abraham Lincoln.

It's so disconcerting - like being in a museum where the art is mis-labeled.

Seriously, what were they thinking? If you care about such details, this book will only frustrate and disappoint.
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on November 17, 2011
The photographs in this book are like a visual diary. There is nothing technically slick about the images. Many tourists could have taken the same shots if given the level of access Leibovitz was granted to the historical sites and their objects. The images that illustrate the stories have a random quality that anyone who has ever visited a historic site will understand. As you enter a room your eye is caught by objects, maybe a vase on a mantel, a hatbox on a shelf in a closet, or the wear patterns on a well loved piece of furniture. You and I would not have the opportunity to memorialize a visit to the interior of Monticello, or the home of Georgia O'Keeffe as Leibovitz has done here. We would have to rely on our memories or the book in the gift shop. For that reason I appreciate Leibovitz's Pilgrimage. There is an accessible quality to the photographs here, pictures of Lincoln's bloodstained gloves, Marion Anderson's concert dress or the hole in the bedcover in Georgia O'Keeffe's Abiquiu home, allow us the closest access most of us will ever have to examine such intimate objects that are part of our shared history. (Cameras and cell phones are not allowed in many historical houses.)
There is dissonance when you read the text and look at the photographs. To resolve it, either read the text and ignore the photos, or look at the photos, ignoring the text. The text does not always match the image on the page.
Leibovitz wrote the book in conjunction with Sharon DeLano and the flow of the narrative is accessible.
For those of use who dream of being able to pilgrimage to those places that mean something to us, and for those of us who have had the opportunity to visit these historic places, but had to stand behind the rope - this is more than a coffee table book. It is a chance to have a special tour over and over again.
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on August 17, 2014
What a beautiful book!! I'm so glad I bought it for myself. I've been a fan of Annie's photographs since the 1970s. Before connecting her name to them, I was consistently drawn to her images. The camera can be a formidable buffer between the technician and the subject, but I've always felt that she steps beyond that barrier better than anyone of her generation.

We all marvel at her gift for portraiture that reveals more of her subjects than might otherwise be expected. But the photographs and text in this collection are so personal and touching that they afford us a view to the other side of the camera. The artist herself revealed.

I love Doris Kearns Goodwin's observation that the two have inhabited the same places, yet have seen different things. And I'm thrilled by the subjects Annie chose for this book. These are people and their places that I'd have chosen to research more deeply myself. She found a way in with her unique perspective, shaping an illuminating path for us.

A native New Yorker, I moved to northern New Mexico after more than a decade in Ireland. It's impossible to capture the 'color' of these worlds photographically, you just have to soak it in while you're there. The drive down 'the hill' from Los Alamos and up to Abiquiu is heart-stopping and never gets old. You sense Georgia O'Keeffe sitting beside you, feeling her art all along the way. Annie gets this.

Travel down from the Pajarito Plateau, between Battleship Rock and the Black Mesa, then north past the pueblos to Abiquiu. Drive it in a Miata with the top down. I did this with my elderly German aunt, visiting from Florida. When she wasn't dumbstruck by that day's sky and landscape, she squealed with delight as we zipped through storms, beaming sun bumping black sky, raindrops evaporating before they hit our heads.

That's the sort of joy this book gives me. You can soak it in for that moment, then return and see different things. Thank you, Annie and daughters, for sharing this journey.
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on December 20, 2011
When a book is authored by the best known photographer of our times it's natural to imagine that it's a photo book. But while the book features many of Annie Liebovitz's photographs it's really a very personal journal...accompanied by photos. Leibovitz tells us of her long desire to make a "pilgrimage" to various historically significant American sites, then narrates her impressions of each. The photos are uncharacteristically (for her) unsophisticated snapshots presented largely as the same type of attendance evidence that most everyone's travel snaps provide. Nothing much more, although their casual existing-light style generally does add emotional punch to the narrative.

I admit to being a bit enchanted by this quirky, rather egocentric book for a while. But it did become tiresome by about the 2/3rds mark. Its rather disjointed structure, with site narratives beginning and ending without any logical construction or order got on my nerves. And the layout and placement of images (which are not very well reproduced) seems to have absolutely no relationship to the accompanying text.

So I have to honestly give this a shrug. I know that there are plenty of Annie Leibovitz fans who worship anything she leaves for them. They'll like this book sight unseen. But I came away with a rather sad impression of a person who's just a bit lost in life and time.
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on May 25, 2013
This is a beautiful and compelling book. It is almost like listening in on a conversation with Annie Leibovitz as she takes us through the experiences that created this book. Reviewers have complained about the order in which the photographs are laid out, and the fact that sometimes they are not close to the narrative that describes their settings. Don't pay any attention to those critiques. The spirit that moved her to pursue these images comes through on the pages of this book.

Leibovitz has used a digital camera to create many of these images. Sometimes they are a little fuzzy - especially the image of the door in Georgia O'Keefe's house at Abiquiu, when I wished the image had more definition. But these pictures were taken when something caught at Leibovitz's heart, and compelled her to capture what she saw. Technically they are not as fine as some of the images in her other books, but they are emotionally right on target.

The introduction by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Leibovitz's own narrative throughout the book are excellent guides to the people and places she has been captivated by.
Her choice of subjects for her pilgrimages is excellent. I pay homage to her artistic sensibility.
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on August 22, 2016
If you view photography as art, you will love this book. Annie Leibovitz is, above all, an artist with an innate eye for beauty, the odd little thing we may miss in passing, the grandiose expanse of life that surrounds us. This book is an incredible collection of her work, sentimental, humble, moving. She takes you through a life well-observed.
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on April 29, 2017
GREAT
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on December 26, 2011
I received this book for Christmas (I requested it after seeing Annie L. on David Letterman) and I cannot put it down. It is so beautiful, and I feel as though I am sitting with a very close friend in my livingroom who is talking to me and showing me pictures of places/ things I have always wanted to see. I visited Emily Dickinson's home in Amherst in 1988. The most amazing photos are those of Virginia Woolf's home (which I have not seen, yet). Thank you, Annie. I love this book. We bought 2 copies for Christmas for other friends. The cover photo is breathtaking, and it is about the abyss you can fall into from sadness and despair from losing someone.... What a magnificent book.
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