Magnum Stories (2004)

ISBN: 9780714842455
Artist(s): Various
Author(s): Chris Boot
Format: hardback
Edition: First Edition
Year published: 2004
Publisher: Phaidon
Total Pages: 510
Illustrations: Lavishly illustrated


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Magnum Stories is a collection of the best 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, from the Vietnam War to student protests in Tiananmen Square, Fidel Castro overthrowing the Cuban dictator in 1959, Picasso, Malcolm X, the French theatre group Théâtre du Soleil, the US invasion of Grenada in the early 1980s, the New York police, Apartheid and Buddhism. This momentous compilation combines war photography, documentary, photojournalism, social realism, portraits of people and places, fashion and news. 61 Magnum photographers are featured, each of whom is represented across eight pages by a fully illustrated photo story of their choice, and a text composed from the photographer’s perspective and based directly on interviews.

The texts are sophisticated and idiosyncratic – each with its own distinctive voice and style – yet accessible and engaging to read. They reveal strikingly diverse perceptions and approaches to the practice and philosophy of photography: What is the photo story? What does it mean? How did it come into being, and why? The questions raised are endless; each answer given is more arresting than the last.

As well as featuring the work of individual photographers, this landmark book embodies a rigorous interrogation of the form of the photo story itself as the key vehicle for photography in the twentieth century. The in-depth introduction brings this essential form to life: from its earliest developments in the 1930s, through the ‘death of photojournalism’, to its multi-faceted and multiplying manifestations today. The sweeping scope of Magnum Stories explores, with passion and erudition, the various influences that have defined the photo story as its own genre, spanning key twentieth-century events and the life of photographic magazines such as NewsweekTime and Paris Match.

An unprecedented reflection of the course of the twentieth-century and the opening of the twenty-first – all through the lens of a camera on the go – this book is an intellectual, historical and aesthetic tour de force.

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