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Material World a Global Family Portrait Peter Menzel

Material World a Global Family Portrait

Peter Menzel

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 About the Book 

In honor of the United Nations-sponsored International Year of the Family in 1994, award-winning photojournalist Peter Menzel brought together 16 of the worlds leading photographers to create a visual portrait of life in 30 nations. Material WorldMoreIn honor of the United Nations-sponsored International Year of the Family in 1994, award-winning photojournalist Peter Menzel brought together 16 of the worlds leading photographers to create a visual portrait of life in 30 nations. Material World tackles its wide subject by zooming in, allowing one household to represent an entire nation. Photographers spent one week living with a statistically average family in each country, learning about their work, their attitudes toward their possessions, and their hopes for the future. Then a big picture shot of the family was taken outside the dwelling, surrounded by all their (many or few) material goods. The book provides sidebars offering statistics and a brief history for each country, as well as personal notes from the photographers about their experiences. But it is the big pictures that tell most of the story. In one, a British family pauses before a meal of tea and crumpets under a cloudy sky. In another, wary Bosnians sit beside mattresses used as sniper barricades. A Malian family composed of a husband, his two wives, and their children rests before a few cooking and washing implements in golden afternoon light. Material World is a lesson in economics and geography, reminding us of the worlds inequities, but also of humanitys common threads. An engrossing, enlightening book. --Maria Dolan