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Petrochemical America [Hardcover]

Richard Misrach , Kate Orff
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 50.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 Nov 2012
Petrochemical America features Richard Misrachs haunting photographic record of Louisianas Chemical Corridor, accompanied by landscape architect Kate Orffs Ecological Atlasa series of speculative drawings developed through research and mapping of data from the region. Their joint effort depicts and unpacks the complex cultural, physical, and economic ecologies along 150 miles of the Mississippi River, from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, an area of intense chemical production that first garnered public attention as Cancer Alley when unusual occurrences of cancer were discovered in the region. This collaboration has resulted in an unprecedented, multilayered document presenting a unique narrative of visual information. Petrochemical America offers in-depth analysis of the causes of decades of environmental abuse along the largest river system in North America. Even more critically, the project offers an extensively researched guidebook to the way in which the petrochemical industry has permeated every facet of contemporary life. What is revealed over the course of the book, however, is that Cancer Alleyalthough complicated by its own regional histories and particularitiesmay well be an apt metaphor for the global impact of petrochemicals on the human landscape as a whole.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Aperture (5 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597111910
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597111911
  • Product Dimensions: 27.4 x 34.3 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 325,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Photography that really makes you think 8 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My girlfriend and I were fortunate enough to see this exhibition at the Aperture Gallery in New York last October. The great thing about this book is that it captures the essence of the exhibition and reproduces it perfectly; so that it doesn't matter whether you saw the exhibition or not. The only thing missing is the scale of the photography (which I suppose is important!) But anyway, Richard Misrach's photography is subtle yet powerfully conveys the damage that has been done to settlements in the lower reaches of the Mississippi river. The scenes of abandonment and desolation portrayed are moving and hard-hitting. Kate Orff's diagrams are beautiful and so detailed. I spent well over ten minutes in the gallery trying to unweave all the intricate webs of her analysis of the uses of petrochemical products.
Overall this book is a wonderful reminder of the price we pay for our petrochemical world. 'Cancer alley' is a sad story for sure; but maybe it's just an unfortunate yet necessary component of twenty-first century life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars No holds barred 23 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a startling combination of moody photos and graphic information. Maps and collages document the consequences of the oil industry in one geographic area over time. The landscape architects focus on the ecology on land and water is very thorough. The term 'Cancer Alley' seems extreme but is well explained. This industry has been controlling lives in unhealthy ways over so many years...... we should detox! and take stock of what of value has been created as well as what harm continues to be done. The risks becoem greater as the easy sources of oil become exhausted.

It is a large format book and hence a bit expensive.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will blow your mind 25 Feb 2013
By bookworm - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Beautiful, haunting book of photographs by Richard Misrach, one of the world's great photographers, accompanied by landscape architect Kate Orff’s Ecological Atlas (drawings that map Louisiana's Chemical corridor, also called “Cancer Alley”, which spreads along the Mississippi River.) What is stunning about Misrach's photographs is that they have an ethereal beauty, and when you look more closely you see that each is underscored by the terrible death and decay that is 'cancer alley'.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST BUY 11 Mar 2013
By Lrjohn3 - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For any ecological/landscape architectural/environmental/ innovative illustrative designers out there, this is a must own. Imagery is un-real, topic is current and highly under represented. Great book.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular 12 Dec 2012
By JM - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I work in the energy business and really liked the book. The pictures are breathtaking. Worth every cent. May follow up with the other books.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint of heart 12 Feb 2013
By T. L. Holcomb - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My son is a chemical engineer and he loves this book. According to him, nothing else comes close to explaining the need for PetChems and also providing research and personal glimpses into the dark side of this issue. Hde highly recommends this for anyone who really cares about the issues and is willing to read carefully and with an open mind on all issues.
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous and packed with valuable information 21 Dec 2013
By Sara Steele - Published on
This book would be an excellent text in any ecology or sustainability course. It synthesizes a large amount of information in a comprehensible way in tandem with Misrach's haunting photos, and has a hopeful addendum tucked in a marsupial-like pouch at the end.
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