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The Tumultuous Fifties: A View from the New York Times Photo Archives

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0914782995
ISBN-10: 0914782991
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From Booklist

Published to coincide with an exhibition that will visit 10 sites between January 2002 and November 2004, this glorious book presents 200 black-and-white photographs culled from the enormous New York Times archives. Here are the 1950s, with all their splendor, excitement, tragedy, humor, and sadness. Here's the aftermath of a department-store fire; the construction of an overpass; Richard Nixon in Ecuador; the April 27, 1958, Walk for Peace; Lee J. Cobb as Willie Loman in Death of a Salesman; Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in a huddled meeting; American soldiers in Korea; film director Stanley Kubrick on the set of his latest picture; and much, much more. The book is divided into sections ("America in the World"; "War Hot and Cold"; "Mechanization in Command") and contains photographs both famous and rare (there are, for example, few pictures extant of the late Kubrick). In most cases the photos are accompanied by the original newspaper captions, their publication dates, and the photographers' credits. The book also includes several essays explaining how the Times photo archives operates. But, make no mistake, the photos are the raison d'etre here: this is a picture book, and an exemplary one at that, deserving of a place alongside the best work produced by the National Geographic Society and the folks at Time-Life. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

This book accompanies an exhibition that opens at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in January 2002 and travels to nine American cities from New York to Boulder over the next three years. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Albright-Knox Art Gallery (January 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0914782991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0914782995
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,233,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
A fascinating collection of two hundred large, one to a page, photos capturing the fifties. The photos are divided into five sections and each picture has a caption and credit taken from the back of the print. Page sixteen shows the back of a photo from 1953 taken in Berlin and it is a mess of crossed out picture sizes, pasted on captions, five in all, and rubber stamps, this photo has been used at least six times over the years.

I was pleased to see that most of these photos can be viewed not just as historical news images but as well crafted compositions. So many photos that we see on a daily basis (especially in the media) are purely for the moment and lack any real creative input but the ones in this book encourage you to linger and think about what the photos are saying.

Apart from the two hundred pictures there are three essays, Douglas Dreishpoon's on the background to the Times Picture Desk is particularly interesting, a twenty-one page time-line to the fifties, bibliography and index. The elegant layout and excellent printing make this book a good addition to the library of anyone interested in the recent past.

The book is published in conjunction with an exhibition of the photos that is travelling around the Nation between now and 2004

Another book of photos from the paper is 'Pictures of the Times' by Peter Galassi and Susan Kismaric, this has 154 photos covering the last century and is equally as good as 'The Tumultuous Fifties'. Both books rightly conclude that The New York Times is the world's premier daily.
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