Material World: A Global Family Portrait

Material World: A Global Family Portrait


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780871564306
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Publication date: 10/28/1995
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 209,550
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 12.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Peter Menzel has photographed stories for National Geographic, Paris Match, Stern, The New York Times Magazine, and Time. He lives in Napa, California. Charles C. Mann is a contributing editor of Atlantic Monthly. He has covered scientific and environmental issues for The New York Times Magazine and other publications. He lives in New York City.

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Material World: A Global Family Portrait 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
2wonderY on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Concept: To photograph the diversity of humanity in relation to their belongings and lifestyles.Method: Find a ¿median¿ family in 33 countries willing to be photographed and interviewed concerning their economic life.The title pictures for each country are fascinating. The family is posed in the midst of their household inventory in front of their home. Material goods not readily mobilized are listed completely elsewhere.The concept of wealth differs even yet ¿ Western Samoans are pictured with their livestock; Guatemalans with their loom and religious pictures. Uzbekistanians , with their 29 quilts, stand in front of their 2 room (sort of heated) winter home and 4 room summer home with open-air kitchen. Mongolians dismantled half of their tent-like ¿ger¿ for the photo, displaying western-style beds and furniture, television and kitchen gear all in one room. In Mali, even the broken pots are inventoried.Each chapter offers more photos and descriptions of lifestyles. An Iraqi mother living in a Western-design apartment, ignores kitchen counters to sit on the floor and prepare food on a hot-plate. (something I¿m likely to do too.) How war affects everyday life is covered in Bosnia. In Butan, a healthy baby is covered with flies as he sleeps because the livestock live in the ground floor spaces of the home.Statistics for country and family are provided for comparisons.It was impossible to take in at one reading, but infinitely fascinating.This should be on everyone¿s Must Read list. Highly recommended.
johnlobe on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Material World was a very ambitious project documenting the lives of 30 families from all over the world. Although the main objective of the book is to highlight differences in the possessions of average families, each profile is engaging and warm. What we end up with is a powerful reminder of our world's disparity.
readasaurus on LibraryThing 10 months ago
If you read Menzel's masterpiece, Hungry Planet, read this book! Menzel asks thirty "statistically average" families from around the world to place everything they own in their front yard. The result is a glorious set of photographs detailing the belongings of the world's people. I have used this book in a middle school classroom. It highlights the ranges in wealth and makes American children see the face of poverty. This book is from 1994, so the statistics need to be updated, but the pictures speak volumes. Menzel includes stories about the families, so the reader gets a sense of the different cultures. This is one of the best classroom resources around.
MplsReader More than 1 year ago
I am looking forward to sharing this book with my family. It really helps put life in perspective. I keep imagining what the photo would look like if I were to move all my belongings out side my home. Not only does the book send a powerful message but it does so with such bueatiful images. This is a really bueatiful book that you will enjoy sharing with family and friends. I love how the book provides a glimpse into other cultures and families. We selected this book and hungry planet for a book discussion group which fit In well following a sesson global warming topics and this was a very good fit. I think this would be a great book donate to a library, school or church library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book should sit on everyones reference shelf. It illustrates both the simplicities and excentricities of life. I admire most, the families with the fewest possessions. Shouldn't we all live as simply? I would recommend this book for anyone, but especially for those whose lives are feeling cluttered. And who in America today doesn't feel this way? It helps to illustrate the true difference between 'wants' and 'needs', and might just stop you from buying another neat kitchen gadget or that third car.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy everything about it. Thank you.