Alinder's sympathetic history captures the excitement and energy of determined artists who invigorated and redefined the art...

GROUP F.64

EDWARD WESTON, ANSEL ADAMS, IMOGEN CUNNINGHAM, AND THE COMMUNITY OF ARTISTS WHO REVOLUTIONIZED AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHY

In the 1930s, daring young artists invented a distinctive style of photography.

At a party in October 1932, a group of California photographers decided to band together for exhibitions, calling themselves f.64, a name, they explained, “derived from a diaphragm number of the photographic lens. It signifies to a large extent the qualities of clearness and definition” that defined their work. Alinder (Ansel Adams, 1996, etc.), who served as assistant to Adams, one of the most well-known members of f.64 and author of its manifesto, comes to this group biography with personal knowledge of many of her subjects, including Imogen Cunningham, Willard Van Dyke, Brett Weston and Preston Holder. As collaborator on Adams’ autobiography, she became intimately acquainted with the life and work of many of the other members. Group f.64 arose partly in reaction to Alfred Stieglitz, founder of the Manhattan galleries 291 and An American Place, who “had ruled as the largely unchallenged master of creative photography in America for three decades.” Coveting “the grace of his recognition,” the California group nevertheless believed that a Western aesthetic was far different from the photography heralded in New York and also from the popular genre of pictorialism: romantic, painterly images produced by soft-focus lenses and printed on matte, textured paper. The group’s first major exhibition opened at the respected M.H. De Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco, mounted by its intrepid director Lloyd Rollins. Among 64 prints were Adams’ rugged landscapes and Weston’s sensuous rocks, shells and vegetables. Although the exhibition did not attract much notice, it inaugurated for the exhibitors a period of “explosive creativity.” From 1933 to 1940, their work appeared in galleries and museums, making them increasingly visible and earning wide acclaim.

Alinder's sympathetic history captures the excitement and energy of determined artists who invigorated and redefined the art of photography.

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-1620405550

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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