MAGNUM: FIFTY YEARS AT THE FRONT LINE OF HISTORY – THE STORY OF THE LEGENDARY PHOTO AGENCY – Buy it here.
This book is a biography of Magnum, told largely in the words of its photographers. It offers a unique perspective on half a century of world history from an extraordinary group of men and women who were front line witnesses at virtually every major event in the last fifty years. Wars, famines, natural disasters, social, political and environmental crises…Magnum photographers were there. The agency has been inextricably linked with world events from its founding in the penthouse restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1947 to the present day. Magnum photographers have been acute observers of the human condition, photographing the richest people in the world, the poorest, the least known and the most celebrated, from Marilyn Monroe to Che Guevara, JFK to Nelson Mandela, Picasso to Kruschev.
This is multi-layered story. At one level, it tells how a small group of photographers – among them Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson and George Rodger – came together, established and nurtured a cooperative photographic agency that has survived against all the odds to become the most famous in the world. At a second level it is the story of the photographers themselves, a wonderfully disparate, colourful and sometimes temperamental group of men and women with little in common except photography and profound concern for their work. At another level it is the richly anecdotal story of their adventures around the world, their feelings about, and reactions to their assignments.
This is a book not so much about photography – Magnum is well served by such books – as about photographers.
PUBLICATION DATE: October 1997