Author(s): Rory MacLean
The 20th century in 10 extraordinary moments: a photographic journey by bestselling historian Rory MacleanIn the 20th century, amateur photography took history--and collective memory--out of the hands of historians and gave it to individuals. In Pictures of You, bestselling British-Canadian historian and travel writer Rory MacLean narrates a journey through 10 photographs, across the globe and into the lives of 10 ordinary men and women who lived through extraordinary times.Each photograph (or group of photographs) comes from a different decade of the 20th century: the first killing of the Cold War; the dying hopes of a doomed aviator; the ghosts of Native America at Alcatraz; Chairman Mao's most timid lover; Nature's final battle with humankind. Through these images, MacLean ventures from Siberia to Rangoon, China to Shepperton Studios, hearing forgotten voices that echo from the depths of time, picturing lives that mirror our own, and saving the stories behind these pictures of you.All of these images belong to the Archive of Modern Conflict in London. Over the last 25 years the Archive's small collection of amateur photographs has grown into one of the world's most moving image treasuries, its shelves now holding pictures of some four million lost lives."A delicately beautiful book, haunting in its effect. Superb." -Alexander McCall Smith"Stunning! A unique virtuoso exercise in empathy, narrative and imagination." -Jan Morris
Rory MacLean (born 1954) is the author of more than a dozen books, including Stalin's Nose and Under the Dragon. According to the late John Fowles, his works "marvelously show why literature still lives." His recent Berlin: Imagine a City was chosen as a book of the year by the Washington Post, whose reviewer called it "the most extraordinary work of history I've ever read."