Twentieth-Century Color Photographs -- Identification and Care by Sylvie Penichon, Getty Conservation Institute '13 paperback, in oversized format on glossy stock, 344 pages, ASIN #1606061569. Index, illustration credits, bibliography, notes, glossary, three appendices.
The introduction of photography in 1839 in France and England was nothing less than transformative. "...For the first time nature could be captured by the sun itself without the hand of man," the author observes. But as amazingly true to life as photographs were, "the lack of natural colors was sourly noted, especially with regard to the daguerreotype." As the editor of the Literary Gazette noted, "The images produced by M. Daguerre are exquisitely correct, but gloomy-looking. They resemble moonlight pictures done in ink."
And so, no sooner than the photographic industry had been created, it was off to the races to discover how we perceive color, how different wavelengths of light cause different colors, and how color photography could be made commercially viable.
This coffee table-sized volume does not use either a few images to enhance the narrative nor does it employ narrative to explain an image-driven book. In fact, both modes of complement one another in equal measure, to provide a rich experience for the reader.
Art conservator Sylvie Penichon has divided her material into nine sections: Color Photography in the Nineteenth Century, Additive Color Screen Processes, Pigment Processes, Dye Imbibition Processes, Dye Coupling Processes, Dye Destruction Processes, Dye Diffusion Processes, Dye Mordanting and Silver Toning Processes, and Preservation and Collection Management. Each section except the last begins with a generous treatment of its history, appropriate for photography specialists but accessible for laypeople as well.
Author Sylvie Penichon is a conservator of photographs at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, TX.
1954 -- The Year Willie Mays and the First Generation of Black Superstars Changed Major League Baseball Forever by Bill Madden, DaCapo '14, $25.99, 290 pages, ASIN #0306823322. Index, bibliography, grouping of b&w glossy images.
"Baseball did not truly become our national pastime," writes legendary Yankee manager Joe Torre in a review, "until all the game's diverse talents received the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby. Bill McFadden's 1954 vividly chronicles not only the legendary season of the favorite player of my youth, Willie Mays, and the dawn of the career of Henry Aaron, but also the many hardships that the new generation faced during the game's critical transition to inclusion...."
As the author pens in his jacket copy: "1954: Perhaps no single baseball season has so profoundly changed the game forever. In that year -- the same in which the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled, in the case of Brown vs. Board of Education, that segregation of the races be outlawed in America's public schools -- Larry Doby's Indians won an American League record 111 games, dethroned the five-straight World Series champion Yankees, and went on to play Willie Mays's Giants in the first World Series that featured players of color on both teams."
But Madden's treatment is not a monochromatic tableau -- it is instead a study in black and white, for such is the nature of racial integration. Along with such legendary black and Latino players as Ernie Banks, Sandy Amoros, Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson and Buck O'Neil are such white figures as Leo Durocher, Mel Allen, Yogi Berra, Carl Erskine, and Casey Stengel.
Author Bill Madden is the author of New York Times bestseller Steinbrenner. For more than 30 years, he has covered baseball for the New York Daily News.
The Great and Holy War -- How World War I Became a Religious Crusade by Philip Jenkins, HarperOne '14, $29.99, 438 pages, ASIN #0062105094. Index, notes, b&w images sprinkled through text.
From the dust jacket:
"The Great and Holy War offers the first look at how religion created and prolonged the First World War. At the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the war, historian Philip Jenkins reveals the powerful religious dimensions of this modern-day crusade, a period that marked a traumatic crisis for Western civilization, with effects that echoed throughout the rest of the 20th century.
"The war was fought by the world's leading Christian nations, who presented the conflict as a holy war. Thanks to the emergence of modern media, a steady stream of patriotic and militaristic rhetoric was given to an unprecedented audience, using language that spoke of holy war and crusade, of apocalypse and Armageddon.
"But this rhetoric was not mere state propaganda. Jenkins reveals how the widespread belief in angels and apparitions, visions and the supernatural, was a driving force throughout the war and shaped all three of the Abrahamic religions -- Christianity, Judaism, and Islam -- paving the way for modern views of religion and violence."
Philip Jenkins, who has written seven previous books, is a professor of history and member of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University.