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This lavishly illustrated full-color art book depicts more than a century of nursing practice worldwide through more than 580 postcards. The postcards reflect nursing practice from the 1890s to the present and represent more than 65 countries, particularly the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Japan. The images within the book represent the complete range of artist-drawn and photographic interpretations of 20th century nursing, including children's illustrations, art nouveau, modernism, photographs of royalty and performers as nurses, and graphic aspects of nursing history which have not been previously accessible.
Narrative chapter introductions provide context for the images, and legends offer insights into the pictures. Endnotes and a bibliography offer additional support to anyone interested in more detail on each postcard.
Posted February 25, 2004
> I view this book as both an artist and a practicing clinical psychologist. From the artistic side, The richness of the imagery is nothing short of breath taking. Post cards were the media vehicle of the time. The cell phone and Internet of all the people. The images that Mr. Zwerdling has collected reflect the slice of life and slice of art that crossed all cultural boundaries. This might have been chaotic if the author had not displayed exquisite good taste in his selections. The wealth of images stimulates my creativity and gives me material inspiration for my own work. > > As a psychologist, the interest is just as keen. What a fascinating mind the author has! He comes to the work from the vantage point of myth and symbol, pointing to the universality of issues of sickness, injury, and mortality juxtaposed against the equally universal themes of nurturance, service and healing. This comes from a person in the field, working as a trauma nurse in a major hospital. > > Just as intriguing is the sociological point of view that places all these images in their political/ cultural contexts. We are told of fashion, war, royalty, advertising, and prejudice. I especially love the little human-interest stories that are sprinkled here and there. > > What a first rate piece of work for those interested in the human condition. Nursing, per se, is not something I would have gone out and bought a book about, but glancing though a copy of this book hooked me. I am so happy to spend many hours visiting Mr. Zwerdling's world. > > Sumner Silverman, Ph.D. > >Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 20, 2004
My first thought on encountering this book was, ¿Why postcards?¿ I¿ve always thought of postcards, if I¿ve thought of them at all, as trivial things that you buy for a quarter when traveling, to show your friends and family pictures of places you¿ve visited. After reading this book, I can now tell you that postcards are much more than that. Postcards are windows in time and space, windows that give us a glimpse of art, history, and society. This particular book gives us glimpses of how nurses have influenced society in the 20th century, and how they, in turn, are viewed by that society. Postcards of Nursing: A Worldwide Tribute is a beautiful book. The author states that his intention was to create an experience like an art gallery, and indeed, paging through this book is like walking through a very diverse art gallery. The variety of art represented here is incredible, representing a wide variety of artistic media and styles ranging from pointillism to manga. Many postcard artists were anonymous, but there are also postcards here with art by famous artists such as children¿s book illustrator Randolph J. Caldecott, for whom the Caldecott medal was named. The book has much to offer from a historical perspective as well. Most of the major wars of the 20th century are represented here, as well as developments in medicine and technology and other historical events. There are sections on royalty and nursing, nursing in film, and advertising. Over 65 nations are represented here, giving a truly global perspective on nursing in the 20th century, Many of the postcards have extensive notes explaining various historical, social, or other details of interest. I was fascinated to read, for example, that Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia and her two oldest daughters trained as nurses and worked in a military hospital during World War I, enduring many horrors and tirelessly helping the wounded. This selflessness contrasts starkly with the way Alexandra is usually portrayed as being pampered, self-absorbed, and unaware of the problems existing outside the royal circle. This book will be of special interest to postcard collectors and those involved with the nursing profession. It would make an excellent gift for a nurse. In a broader sense, however, anyone who is interested in art, history, or society in the 20th century will find this a fascinating book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 17, 2003
¿Postcards of Nursing: A Worldwide Tribute¿ is a wonderful book. The postcard images are outstanding, the text is exceptionally informative, and even the binding is dramatic. At first glance this is an art book. The images, both color and black and white, are works of art in themselves in many cases. The color reproductions are dramatic and vivid; the black and white images, many with a slight sepia tone, seem so to the point that color would almost be a distraction. But after looking at the images I read the text and was impressed all over again. The author details the history of nursing postcards in a clear, highly readable style. The information given is unusual for a book of this type. There is a good history of postcards and postcard creators in general, and excellent descriptions of the cards¿ relationship to the world as a whole, covering such varied subjects as their importance in World War I, the evolution of the symbols of nursing, the first airline stewardesses, Star Trek, postcards used for propaganda, and the movies. The chapter on European royalty is especially impressive, given the complicated interrelationships among royal families, and the number of royals who were nurses. It must have taken a great deal of research to untangle it all. The author¿s respect for nurses, even his love of the profession (he¿s an RN), shows everywhere in the book. Just the many years it must have taken him to collect all the postcards used in the book (some are a century old), to say nothing of the ones he must not have used, illustrate how much a labor of love this book is. The research, not just about European royalty, but about general postcard history, WW I, and movies and television, must also have taken a great many hours. I highly recommend this book. Even if you¿re not a nurse or particularly interested in the field, and don¿t know anyone who would appreciate it as a gift, ¿Postcards of Nursing¿ is a fine, unique art book, as well as being uncommonly informative. As a tribute to nurses and nursing it succeeds admirably.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.