Photos That Made U. S. History: From the Cold War to the Space Age

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Each of these two eye-opening books focuses on seven photographs that represent critical moments in American history. In the introduction (which is repeated in both volumes), the authors identify four crucial elements of ``history-making'' photos: the event, the image, the effect and the photographer. Each photo, reproduced in occasionally muddied black-and-white, is accompanied by a cogent, chapter-long examination of these four aspects. The Wakins not only recreate the moment the photo was shot, but also offer background information on the subject as well as the photographer, and place the documented event in historical context. Among the highlights are Lewis Hine's trenchant shots of early-20th-century child laborers; Joe Rosenthal's celebrated picture of U.S. Marines raising the American flag on Iwo Jima in 1945; and astronaut William A. Anders's momentous photo of the earth ``rising'' over the surface of the moon. A number of the images are deeply unsettling--for example, a police dog lunging at a young civil rights demonstrator in Birmingham in 1963, and terrified, wounded South Vietnamese children fleeing napalm bombs. Together, these volumes present a dynamic, if necessarily spotty, history lesson which--largely due to the immeasurable visual impact of these remarkable photos--leaves a lasting impression. Ages 10-up. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
This is volume one in a two-book series that makes history come alive, from the humor of Brady's photographing of Lincoln, to the majesty of William Henry Jackson's portrait of Old Faithful, to Dorthea Lanqe's poignant portrait of a migrant mother, and four other famous photographs. You can continue family discussions of history, feelings, and photography with the second volume that uses seven more photos to capture pivotal moments from the Cold War to the Space Age.
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-The first volume spans 85 years of American history, while the second covers only 13. In each book, Wakin looks at seven well-known photographs that capture a significant event, individual, or episode in U.S. history. Accompanying each picture is a four-to-five page summary that sets the scene, discusses the picture's effect on the public, and provides information on the photographer. ``Earthrise,'' the view of our planet from the Apollo 8 spacecraft; Old Faithful, and the Lincoln portrait are the only photographs that do not portray civilian or military confrontation, or economic deprivation. Without a doubt, all of the events chronicled are an important part of American history. However, the fact that three of the seven photographs in the second book deal with the Vietnam War indicate the author's bias and is sure to confirm young peoples' notion that history is a dismal collection of disparate facts. Also, the two volumes could have been compacted into a single book without diminishing their effectiveness. Not a priority purchase.-Nancy E. Curran, Decatur Public Schools, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802782724
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 10/1/1993
  • Pages: 72
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years

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