Work: The World in Photographs

Overview

National Geographic is pleased to present our new Collectors Series. Each volume is a fresh presentation of one of our world-famous photography books. Our first volume, Work, showcases this most universal human pastime through images culled from National Geographic’s vast photographic archive as well as other important collections. This fascinating, wide-ranging volume presents a wonderfully varied group portrait of people at work—in great cities and tiny villages; in 19th-century China and 21st-century New York;...
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Overview

National Geographic is pleased to present our new Collectors Series. Each volume is a fresh presentation of one of our world-famous photography books. Our first volume, Work, showcases this most universal human pastime through images culled from National Geographic’s vast photographic archive as well as other important collections. This fascinating, wide-ranging volume presents a wonderfully varied group portrait of people at work—in great cities and tiny villages; in 19th-century China and 21st-century New York; in fields, factories, food carts, four-star restaurants, and just about everywhere else we earn our keep. Here are cowboys and clowns, shepherds and shopkeepers, street musicians and artists’ models all plying their assorted trades; on one page a professional quarterback fires off a pass as the crowd cheers him on, on the next a lone fisherman casts his net in the silent solitude of a Pacific lagoon, and on the next a nomadic tribesman erects a yurt on the Mongolian plain.

From the glamour of a Parisian fashion show to the grit of an African diamond mine, there are countless ways to make a living. Work illuminates scores of them offering revealing glimpses into various eras and cultures and engaging the reader with entertaining text and informative captions.

With a wonderful mix of the utterly unexpected and the instantly familiar, this vivid panorama takes an essential human activity and shows us myriad ways in which work is at once universal and delightfully, unforgettably unique.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Under the unifying theme of labor, writer and cultural critic Protzman (Wide Angle: National Geographic's Greatest Places) has collected 190 large, lush photographs from National Geographic's archives and other major collections of people at work around the world. The book documents an incredible variety of "occupations"-from gold miners in South Africa to air-traffic controllers in the United States; from salt-mine workers in Ukraine to snake charmers in India; from a geisha talking on a cell phone in Japan to a broom merchant in Syria; and from a welder in Washington to a timber poacher on the Ivory Coast. Organized by geographical regions (i.e., "Europe," "Asia," "Africa," "Islands," "The Middle East," and "The Americas"), the book features work by 80 internationally celebrated photographers such as Lewis Hine, Sam Abel, Sebastiao Salgado, and Edward Burtynsky. These frank, inspirational, sobering, and humorous photographs are as diverse as the regions in which they were shot. Also featured are three "Portfolios" on agriculture, extraction, and manufacturing. Recommended for all collections.-Shauna Frischkorn, Millersville Univ., PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-The enormous variety of things that people do for survival and sustenance is impressively represented in this book. Neither doctor nor lawyer is included, and only a small number of white-collar jobs make the cut. Instead, readers see clover collectors in Yemen, bootblacks in Portugal, ice fishermen in Russia, coal miners in West Virginia, and salt miners in Ukraine. The volume is arranged in geographic sections: Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East, Americas, and Islands. Interspersed among them are three thematic portfolios: agriculture, extraction (mining), and manufacturing. Protzman contributes engaging and helpful introductions to each geographic section, as well as brief notes introducing the thematic portfolios. With few exceptions the photos are captivating and of high technical quality. Most were taken within the past 20 years, although some are historical, including a few early-20th-century images by Lewis Hine. Many of the images display poverty, hardship, and oppression (especially of children). A few are whimsical, including a workhorse keeping cool in Spain with the aid of a tiny umbrella. The message that work can be tedious and dangerous, as well as rewarding and enjoyable, is thoroughly established.-Robert Saunderson, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"...the vivid images showcase the grit and glory of the grind." —People
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792262046
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 8/29/2006
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 10.40 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Ferdinand Protzman is an award-winning writer, culture critic, and contributing editor to Art News magazine. He is the author of Landscape: Photographs of Time and Place (2003), Wide Angle: National Geographic Greatest Places (2005) and Love (2008). His essays, reviews, and features have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, and The Harvard Review.
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