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Kosmos [Hardcover]

Adam Bartos , Svetlana Boym
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 1 2001
The Space Race was an exhilirating moment in history, alternately frighten-ing, thrilling, awe-inspiring, and ultimately, sublime. Its most enigmatic element was the competition. The Soviets seemed less technologically sophisticated (at least from the American perspective) but in fact won many of the races: first satellite to orbit the earth; first man in space; first unmanned landings on Mars, Venus, and the Moon; first woman in space; most powerful rockets; and, until its recent fierydeath, the most long-lived space station to name but a few. The inherent contradictions of the age - the mixture of technologies high and low, of nostalgia and progress, of pathos and promise - are revealed in Kosmos, Adam Bartos's astonishing photographic survey of the Soviet space program. Bartos' fascination with this subject led him to seek out places like the bedroom where Yuri Gagarian slept the night before his history-making flight into space, located in the Baiknour Cosmodrome, the one-time top-secret space complex in the Kazakh desert. Bartos also takes us inside the cockpit of the Merkur space capsule, used to ferry crew members and supplies to the super-secret Almaz orbital space stations, and behind the changing screens cosmonauts used before being fitted for their space suits at Zvezda, the chief manufacturer of Soviet life-support systems. In total, Kosmos presents over 100 of Bartos's photographs, rich with the incongruities of the history, science, culture, and politicsof the Space Age. Professor Svetlana Boym's insightful introduction to the technological and cultural aspects of Soviet space exploration provides a fitting context for the photographs. For anyone interested in the space age, Kosmos is an essential and fascinating portrait.

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About the Author

Adam Bartos is a New York based photographer.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Ghosts of an Era of Achievement Dec 10 2001
Format:Hardcover
As one involved with NASA in the heady days of years past, I had heard talk that Princeton Architectural Press planned to bring out a book of Adam Bartos' photographs of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, and I have been looking forward to Kosmos for some time.
Kosmos is a sad and poignant portrait--but, alas, an accurate one--of the decline of one of the great technological programs of human history. I don't believe that those who weren't alive at the time can appreciate the reaction of this nation to the launch of Sputnik and the other achievements of the Soviet space program nor can those outside of NASA appreciate the enthusiasm--and gravity--that characterized our efforts to catch the Soviets in the space race.
Frankly, the faded glory shines through in many of the photographs, and, in the eyes of those caught in the photographs, one still sees glimpses of the spirit, albeit wounded, that drove their space program to its glories. However, in the post-Cold War era, pathos will be the most common reaction of the reader.
The accompanying essay by Svetlana Boym of Harvard University, unlike those gratuitous essays in many photographic books, contributes to the Kosmos and brings some important insights to the reader unfamiliar with the Soviet program. It is beatifully written and is commended to the readers for their edification.
All in all, after much anticipation, Kosmos exceeded my expectations and stirred a wave of memories. Congratulations to PAP for their achievement!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Russian Space Photos Depicting a Bygone Era Dec 2 2001
Format:Hardcover
Having been a Soviet/Russian space enthusiast since childhood, I was naturally excited to learn that Princeton Architectural Press was publishing a photonovel entitled "KOSMOS - A Portrait of the Russian Space Age". This is a finely bound collection of 100 photographs taken by renowned photographer, Adam Bartos between June 1995 and April 1999 at the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
With great anticipation I opened the book, eager to see new images of Russian space hardware and launch sites. What I found between the covers was much, much more than I expected.
With his keen photographic skills, Adam Bartos is not only able to take us into areas of the cosmodrome rarely seen by western observers, but into the hearts and souls of some of the key personalities which helped to shape the current climate of what was once the worlds greatest space industry. Through the eyes of the photographer you see rooms well worn with age now silent and barren, and faces whose stares echo ghost of the former Soviet Union. Image after image paints a portrait of contrast between the glorious aspirations of the Soviet future past and the dismal realities of the present day russian space program.
Enhancing this somber collection of images is an essay written by Svetlana Boym, Professor of Slavic Languages at Harvard University, which poignantly illustrates the mood of the Russian people as radical political change made way to new realities.
I highly recommend this book, not only to all Russian space enthusiast but also to anyone who has even the slightest interest in the changing climate of the Russian people and how it has affected their once dear space program.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ghosts of an Era of Achievement Dec 10 2001
By "smblater" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As one involved with NASA in the heady days of years past, I had heard talk that Princeton Architectural Press planned to bring out a book of Adam Bartos' photographs of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, and I have been looking forward to Kosmos for some time.
Kosmos is a sad and poignant portrait--but, alas, an accurate one--of the decline of one of the great technological programs of human history. I don't believe that those who weren't alive at the time can appreciate the reaction of this nation to the launch of Sputnik and the other achievements of the Soviet space program nor can those outside of NASA appreciate the enthusiasm--and gravity--that characterized our efforts to catch the Soviets in the space race.
Frankly, the faded glory shines through in many of the photographs, and, in the eyes of those caught in the photographs, one still sees glimpses of the spirit, albeit wounded, that drove their space program to its glories. However, in the post-Cold War era, pathos will be the most common reaction of the reader.
The accompanying essay by Svetlana Boym of Harvard University, unlike those gratuitous essays in many photographic books, contributes to the Kosmos and brings some important insights to the reader unfamiliar with the Soviet program. It is beatifully written and is commended to the readers for their edification.
All in all, after much anticipation, Kosmos exceeded my expectations and stirred a wave of memories. Congratulations to PAP for their achievement!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Russian Space Photos Depicting a Bygone Era Dec 2 2001
By David Rickman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Having been a Soviet/Russian space enthusiast since childhood, I was naturally excited to learn that Princeton Architectural Press was publishing a photonovel entitled "KOSMOS - A Portrait of the Russian Space Age". This is a finely bound collection of 100 photographs taken by renowned photographer, Adam Bartos between June 1995 and April 1999 at the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
With great anticipation I opened the book, eager to see new images of Russian space hardware and launch sites. What I found between the covers was much, much more than I expected.
With his keen photographic skills, Adam Bartos is not only able to take us into areas of the cosmodrome rarely seen by western observers, but into the hearts and souls of some of the key personalities which helped to shape the current climate of what was once the worlds greatest space industry. Through the eyes of the photographer you see rooms well worn with age now silent and barren, and faces whose stares echo ghost of the former Soviet Union. Image after image paints a portrait of contrast between the glorious aspirations of the Soviet future past and the dismal realities of the present day russian space program.
Enhancing this somber collection of images is an essay written by Svetlana Boym, Professor of Slavic Languages at Harvard University, which poignantly illustrates the mood of the Russian people as radical political change made way to new realities.
I highly recommend this book, not only to all Russian space enthusiast but also to anyone who has even the slightest interest in the changing climate of the Russian people and how it has affected their once dear space program.
5.0 out of 5 stars Where the future began. March 27 2014
By John Dziadecki - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Most of us will never have the opportunity to visit Russia and visit the people and sites and artifacts related to the Russian space program. Bartos allows us to be armchair travelers and takes us there through his photographs. This book is a worthy addition to the collection of anyone interested in the history of space exploration. Much recommended.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Russian space era May 19 2010
By James D. Crabtree - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wonderful photographs of many sites and people associated with the old Soviet space program. These were unobtainable just a decade or so before this book came out in print. What I find interesting is how old, beat up and run-down much of the equipment was. Well, it worked and that was all that mattered!
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