Peace: The Biography of a Symbol

Peace: The Biography of a Symbol

by Ken Kolsbun, Michael S. Sweeney, Mike Sweeney
     
 

As the boomer generation moves onward through the milestones of life, 1960s nostalgia holds tremendous meaning today. And nothing more eloquently symbolizes the counterculture era than the peace sign. How did this simple sketch become so powerful an image? Peace: The Biography of a Symbol tells the surprising story of the sign in words and pictures, from

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Overview

As the boomer generation moves onward through the milestones of life, 1960s nostalgia holds tremendous meaning today. And nothing more eloquently symbolizes the counterculture era than the peace sign. How did this simple sketch become so powerful an image? Peace: The Biography of a Symbol tells the surprising story of the sign in words and pictures, from its origins in the nuclear disarmament efforts of the late 1950s to its adoption by the antiwar movement of the 1960s, through its stint as a mass-marketed commodity and its enduring relevance now.

As the symbol’s popularity blossomed, so did an entire generation, and author Ken Kolsbun’s expertly selected images—from his own collections as well as a variety of historical archives—illustrate both the sign itself and the larger history that it helped to shape. Along the way, the book recounts the controversy inspired by the peace symbol, bringing to light several trials that challenged its very existence. Drawing on exclusive archival interviews with Gerald Holtom, the late creator of the symbol, Peace recounts its birth and goes on to build a historic portrait using both iconic and rarely seen photographs.

With guaranteed appeal for audiences who flocked to Hippie several years ago, Peace will also capture fans of symbology, art, and history—and will pose an interesting counterpoint to the 2008 election. The compact trim size and low price point will help to position Peace as both affordable gift and easy impulse purchase.

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Editorial Reviews

Steven Heller
Brief histories of the symbol have been written before this, but Kolsbun, a photographer, designer and peace activist, and Sweeney, a professor of journalism at Utah State University, methodically trace its story from early nuclear tests in the Pacific and the founding of various ban-the-bomb groups in England to the present-day antiwar movement.
—The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426202940
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
04/01/2008
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
749,654
Product dimensions:
8.32(w) x 8.35(h) x 0.68(d)

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