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DPM - Disruptive Pattern Material: An Encyclopaedia of Camouflage: Nature, Military and Culture [Hardcover]

Alex Newman , Hardy Blechman
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2004
This encyclopedic art book charts the history of camouflage from its inspiration in nature, through its adoption by the military, to its current uses in design and popular culture. Divided into two books totaling 944 pages, DPM offers comprehensive coverage of this multifaceted and highly engaging subject. It contains more than 5,000 images by the world's leading nature, military and fashion photographers.

It includes a comprehensive guide to the camouflage patterns issued to soldiers of 107 nations around the world and documents the rise of camouflage outside the armed forces - its use by anti-war protestors in the 1960s, further exploration by modern artists, and reinvention within areas such as fashion, architecture, music, film and sport. Depictions of camo-clad cultural icons such as David Beckham, Robert De Niro, U2, Notorious B.I.G., Ali G, Neneh Cherry and Joe Strummer illustrate the theme.

Rescuing camouflage from its unhappy associations with war and conflict, this book emphasizes its natural beauty. It is the modern reference guide for both the novice and the seasoned camoufleur.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 944 pages
  • Publisher: DPM Ltd (BVI); Slp edition (1 Sep 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 095434040X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954340407
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 22.5 x 31.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 830,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


Obsessively exhaustive compendium of the history of camouflage. And it rocks (FHM)

With nearly 5,000 illustrations, this slipcased behemoth is no dry and dusty textbook. Instead, you get a full-blown coffee table extravaganza that turns a highly trained eye on the multi-hued fabrics of warfare (Wallpaper)

About the Author

Hardy Blechman, creative director of Maharishi, has been influential in the proliferation of camouflage and combat trousers in civilian fashion over the past decade.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Evolution through natural selection has produced some truly bizarre-looking organisms, perhaps none more so than those that deceive to survive. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Is Really Amazing 16 Nov 2004
By A Customer
This book is enormous, really. It is not easy to talk about briefly because its size and contents are so vast. Not only is its page size large, it is also unusually thick, with very nearly 1000 pages of full-color images and text. It may at first sound pricey, but when you see and (assuming you have the physical strength) hold the actual thing, it's hard to believe that it isn't a lot more expensive. It is, as announced by the subtitle, an encyclopedia of camouflage. But it really is far, far more than that. Only one dimension of it is military, since there are countless examples of pattern disruption in art, nature and culture. There is no other book quite like it. To own it is a must, I think, for anyone who is interested in natural form, the visual arts, deception, mimicry, and pattern play. Just in the first reading, it will keep you occupied for months. My prediction: It will be widely purchased by those who are interested in camouflage patterns and their social implications, and by those who are interested in extraordinary books, whatever the subject.
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9 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars DPM 14 April 2007
I buy alot of larger art based books, and after reading the review above, felt that the asking figure for this book was acceptable; as a student, I try only to ensure I get my moneys worth. In this case I truly feel I haven't. The packaging is cheap feeling, even for the highly dicounted Amazon price, and the book is not compiled in a way that justifies £65 either. I have a few boxed editions of books housing multiple titles, and this is by far the cheapest feeling, yet nearly the most expensive. It has the look and feel of a children's book. The subject is one I am very interested in, and thought this was the perfect book for me. Whilst it does cover a lot of ground, if what you want is a catalogue of camouflage, with intelligent, detailed and extensive relevant imagery, this is not for you. If you want a largely crass, primitive and rather infantile book, presented in a rather tawdry fashion, then i would no doubt recommend this book. Each camouflage has been photographed in the smaller of the two books, but the sample images are credit card sized, and often overshadowed by highly unrelated photographs.

Try and have a look at the title before you part with the cash. In my informed opinion, as an art/photography/design book collector, it does in no way satisfy the deficit it has left in my student bank account.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars camorific 6 Jan 2006
By tigerstripeblue - Published on
As someone interested in "militaria"i ordered this massive volume(s) sight unseen on a hunch.Quiet a risk considering the cost.But it was a winning bet.Although not the "be all end all"on the subject(that would take many more volumes)this hefty work comes close.DPM stands for disruptive pattern material,the British definition of camouflage.Who would want such a work?More people than you might think.From those with an interest in military subjects to fashion,art,music, name it.This is not a dry military history.Not by a long shot.This volume should be named"everything you ever wanted to know about camouflage but were afraid to ask for fear of being labeled a warmonger".My criticisms about the text right away.As an "art book"the author Hardy Blechman goes to almost ridiculous lengths to state his anti war(make that anti military)views.He must have feared(perhaps rightly it must be said)that any serious examination of the subject matter would bring about the wrath of the "artsy set".Nonsence.This is an amazingly entertaining work.Put it on your table(a sturdy one)and amaze your art house chums and even your local NRA members.This book will amaze most everyone.Anything you ever wanted to know about the use of camouflage in todays global culture.And yes,it takes a book this big.The art and science of camouflage in nature,art,history,fashion,music(yes music)toys,furnishings,you name it.If you are a military clothing enthusiast(or a "geardo"as we are sometimes called)do not expect a military style monograph.This is an "art book"by artists.If you can put the books leftish tilt in perspective(even when it might seem self rightious)even you will be entertained by this 2 volume set.Thats right.As if the main text wasnt big enough(did i mention it was big?)you also get a smaller companion volume thats is a catalog of almost every nations national battle dress.If you are an artist type(slickster,fashionista,alternative culture vulture)you will be amazed,i promise.Throw a party at your loft/studio and invite your black clad"mod"friends and maybe the marine vet and deer hunter on the block for a showing of this book.Sit back and let the discussions unfold and entertainment ensue.This is a big(oh lord its big)and heavy(just try to curl up with it)and yes,expensive book.But you will not be dissapointed.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and informative, but not for the military crowd. 27 Feb 2011
By Evin Ager - Published on
Before anything else, Mr. Blechman should certainly be commended for his ambition and the final product. He has done a wonderful job of showing how camouflage has permeated both the military and civilian (including fashion, toy, and music industry to name a few) communities since its wide-spread inception in the early 1900's. His book includes thousands of qualify photographs ad he is clearly knowledgeable on the subject. The issue, however, is that the book on first appearance is a bit misleading and is not at all for military collectors.

Why I say this is because of the total page count, only the first two hundred or so are focused on military camouflage in all its forms from clothing to helmets to vehicles. The rest is devoted to fashion or imaginary camouflage and the use of (generally very common) camouflage in the fashion and music industry. While it's interesting to see Notorious BIG in a set of commercial urban camouflage when you're thumbing through Rolling Stone, I really have no need to see it in a book on camouflage. The book only makes a cursory investigation into the various types of camouflage and in most aspects can be called anything but comprehensive. Additionally, Mr. Blechman clearly has a political agenda that is anti-war in nature and seems to be more interested in the socio-political use of camouflage as a form of resistance to war, and so on. For someone who is interested in different camouflage patterns, etc. in military use, this is not what they'll want to see.

That said, as I mentioned above, the book is well produced and provides a comprehensive look at how camouflage in its many forms has permeated our society in many facets of life. As a collectors resources, however, it is next to useless given the price except for quick confirmation of other sources. For those looking for a good book on camouflage, look up J.F. Borsarello's series on European, Russian, and Asian/Middle East camouflage. For those of us looking for a book on African camouflage, keep waiting.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing & comprehensive reference 10 Dec 2010
By Steve P - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This 2-volume set is the most detailed & comprehensive reference on the subject I have ever seen or can imagine.
3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars deadly 27 May 2009
By Simon Walsh - Published on
The book was what i wanted but it's a pity the fool who packed it in a box 4 times its size and a few miserable bits of packing plastic that burst anyway was unaware of the damage he was about to inflict in the item.
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