Magnum Degrees by Michael IgnatieffMagnum Degrees by Michael Ignatieff

Magnum Degrees

byMichael IgnatieffAs told byMichael Ignatieff

Paperback | December 18, 2003

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A 1947 lunch meeting of four friends proved to be one of the most auspicious dates in the history of photojournalism. It was around a lunch table that day that Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger, and David Seymour--each recently returned from covering World War II and its aftermath--formed the Magnum photo agency. Since then, Magnum photographers, with their singular knack for capturing history in an instant, have been responsible for creating many of the most iconic images of our world, in both war and peace. Magnum Degrees is a selection of agency photos that illustrates the range of subject matter and imagery the photographers have captured over the last half century. The book, which overflows with photographs and includes only the briefest amount of text, is arranged thematically to effectively highlight the wide scope of images even within a narrow field. In "Middle East," Larry Towell captures boys playing in Gaza, while Micha Bar-Am trains his camera on a Jewish man, wrapped in a prayer shawl, fleeing a smoke bomb in Jerusalem. In "India," in the town of Benares, Ferdinando Scianna snaps photos of an excruciatingly thin man carrying his dead daughter and two nicely dressed young girls frolicking in the water. In "Religion," photographer Abbas trains his lens both on a man reenacting the Crucifixion in the Philippines and a woman being physically moved by the Holy Spirit in a rural Georgia church. As some of the themes--"Refugees," "Child Victims," "In the Camps," "War in Africa"--suggest, many of the images here are powerfully disturbing. Others, particularly those collected under the headings "Trees," "Fishing," and "Architecture," are lyrically beautiful. Still others, like Martin Parr's photographs of tourists on vacation the world over, are witty and comic. Taken together, the thousand or so photos here capture the often surprising, always complex nature of humanity and do justice to the agency founders' original intention to "document the world as it really is." --Jordana Moskowitz
Michael Ignatieff, born in Toronto in 1947, and educated at the University of Toronto and Harvard and Cambridge universities, has written television programs for the BBC, novels, and works of nonfiction. He has also authored essays and reviews for several publications including The New York Times. From 1990-93, he wrote a weekly column...
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Title:Magnum DegreesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:536 pages, 10 × 10 × 2 inPublished:December 18, 2003Publisher:Phaidon PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0714843563

ISBN - 13:9780714843568

Appropriate for ages: 13

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Editorial Reviews

'Beautifully designed and printed, it will arrest the imagination long after other books of photographs have become sterile and dead.'