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The Family of Man [Paperback]

Edward Steichen , Carl Sandburg
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 2 2002
Hailed as the most successful exhibition of photography ever assembled, The Family of Man opened at The Museum of Modern Art, New York in January 1955. This book, the permanent embodiment of Edward Steichen's monumental exhibition, reproduces all of the 503 images that Steichen described as "a mirror of the essential oneness of mankind throughout the world. Photographs made in all parts of the world, of the gamut of life from birth to death." A classic and inspiring work, The Family of Man has been in print for more than forty years. The New York Times once wrote that it "symbolizes the universality of human emotions." First produced by a magazine publisher and sold by the hundreds of thousands on newsstands and in airport shops, The Family of Man has been in more recent years published by the Museum. It has been continuously in print since 1955; the present Thirtieth Anniversary Edition was prepared from original photographs with all new duotone plates in 1986.

Includes: Elliott Erwitt, W. Eugene Smith, Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand, Roy De Carava, Louis Faurer, Ernst Haas, Robert Doisneau, Robert Capa, Cornell Capa, Henri Cartier Bresson, Frank Horvat, Paul Himmel, Rober Frank, Wayne Miller, Eve Arnold, Irving Penn, David Seymor, Burt Glinn, Ruth Orkin, Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Pierre Verger, Jacob Tuggener, Andreas Feininger, Harry Callahan, Gordon Parks, Ben Shahn, Homer Page, Margaret Bourke-White and Dmitri Kessel amongst many others.

Edited by Edward Steichen.
Prologue by Carl Sandburg.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Dan G
This is simply the best collections of photographs that I have ever seen. The book dates from the 50's, but the subject matter... humans... are the same today. Buy this for yourself, of as a special gift for a special person, and you'll not regret it. (I only wish it were still published in hard cover)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have loved this book since I was a child May 10 2000
By A Customer
The photos are top notch. The organization and message of the book are wonderful. I've always had this book in my home as an adult. My only criticism is the quality of the paper and images in this particular printing of the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Most wonderful wonderful and yet again wonderful April 14 2004
First time I saw the pictures collected by Edward Steichen was in the permanent museum of the exhibition, Clervaux in Luxembourg.
I was keeped almost in silence from entering to exiting and the message of the pictures was striking to me then - and 15 years later it still is.
This is a collection of pictures from all the world, picked between Thousands to be the best pictures to describe the family of man as we ALL are. No matter of colour, religion, origin or political believe we are all sons, fathers, lovers, hungry, thirsty, at times fearful and at times playful - WE ARE ALL ALIKE!
This message is as important now as it was in the 50` and looking at extreemist and the war of terror, you can only wonder how come we have learned nothing in 50 years.
The book brings me back to Clervaux and the thoughts about life, and each time I stop at a different picture or text, that captures the essence of where I am at that time of life. The book is universal not only to man but also to moods.
However happy I am to own the book it is nothing compared with the exhibition in Luxembourg. I can only say that I returned and will return again, and for the full experience of these pictures I will recommend it to all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Thoughtful Jan. 19 2002
I have given this book as a gift many times over the years, and can't recommend it enough. The photographs are beautiful, giving the viewer a sense of what is common in the overall human experience. Simple, straight-forward in content, and very moving. An essential volume of photographs.
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It seems I've owned this book forever and never tire of browsing through it. The beautiful black and white photos are timeless and just as applicable to the stages of life in 2001 as they were in the fifties. My favorite photography book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Words do not do this book justice Sept. 27 2001
Edward Steichen's 1955 exhibition preserved in book form. The Family of Man is a touching, beautiful, horrifying, funny, tragic, poignant collection of photos. Loosely grouped by subject; birth, death, laughter, fear, hunger, the pictures strike us like sudden blows. My father gave me this book when I was fifteen and I must have bought twenty copies since then, presents for people I cared about deeply.
I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Human Condition in the Global Village May 5 2001
While vacationing in Germany we decided to take a daytrip to Luxembourg. The collection of these photos were kept in a castle on a hill there. We spent 2 hours walking through the exhibit staring at each of them. We learned a life's lesson in one afternoon about similarity and difference. No matter how different all the cultures in our world seem to be, they all have several things that are common to each and that is joy and sorrow. This is an important addition for collectors as well as "arm chair" sociologists because it's about your family - the Family of Man.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Still packs a punch! March 28 2001
I recently purchased this book, after having grown up with it in the 50s and 60s. The photographs are as stunning, vibrant and moving as I recall, and I realized that I had clearer memories of this collection of pictures than those in our family photo album - which probably says a lot about my family and cameras?!
Anyway - there's something VERY 50s about these photos - the Germans look "German" - the Irish look "Irish", and so forth. This collection of photos presents a very UN-MELTED "melting pot" at the same time it reveals a universal humanity and compassion. There's palpable joy, sorrow, pain, love, beauty, ulginess and every other human emotion depicted here. It's a beautiful book you won't be sorry you got!
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