Photography  —  Backlist BACK
Chris Boot ed.

Phaidon Press, 2004
512 pages
Fully illustrated, colour & b+w.
ISBN: 0714842451

Magnum Stories is a collection of photo stories produced by the photographers of Magnum. Through the work of key Magnum photographers, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Eugene Richards, Martin Parr, Inge Morath and Leonard Freed, this book covers a wide range of subjects including the Vietnam War, student protests in Tiananmen Square, Fidel Castro overthrows Cuban dictator in 1959, Picasso, Malcolm X, the French theatre group The√Ętre du Soleil, the US invasion of Grenada in the early 1980s, the New York police, Apartheid and Buddhism. The photographic genres covered include war photography, documentary, photojournalism, social realism, portraits of people and places, fashion and news.

There are 61 Magnum photographers featured in the book. Each photographer is represented across 8 pages by a photo story of their choice, which is fully illustrated, and a text which is written in the photographer’s own voice based on new interviews with the author. Accessible and engaging to read, they reveal different perceptions and approaches to photography and each photographer’s unique and varied takes on the photo story and their practice.

As well as featuring the work of individual photographers, this book functions as a history and interrogation of the form of the photo story – the key vehicle for photography in the twentieth century, from its earliest developments in the 30s, through the death of ‘photojournalism’, to contemporary manifestations, all of which is explored by the author in the introduction. The book explores the influences that have affected the photo story, such as key twentieth century events and the life of photographic magazines such as Newsweek, Time, and Paris Match, all of which have helped to define the genre. It provides a unique reflection on the course of photojournalism in the second half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, from the common purpose of the post-WWII years to the individualistic range of practices and interests that constitute documentary photography today.


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