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The Empire State Building (Building America) [Library Binding]

Craig A Doherty , Katherine M Doherty
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 Dec 1997 Building America
Lewis W. Hine's famous black and white photographs document the construction of the Empire State Building, the world's tallest building at the time. Hine pays tribute to the human spirit by dramatically contrasting the workers with the mammoth scale of the structure. Thousands of construction workers, electricians, and other technicians risked their lives to ensure that the skyscraper rose to its now legendary height. In observing these men at work, Hine created a photo-journalistic record of their daring and perseverance. His photos also give a surprising glimpse into blue collar America in the 1930s when jobs were scarce and morale hit rock bottom. But the faces of the men swinging from cables, dangling from beams, and relaxing on the Empire State's unfinished steel peaks convey anything but despair.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Library Binding: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Blackbirch Press; Library Binding edition (31 Dec 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567111165
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567111163
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 19.7 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,968,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Craftsmen in the air 1 Mar 2004
By Robin Benson TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The sixty-five photographs in this book are probably the best of the thousand Lewis Hine took during the construction of the Empire State Building. Several are now the standard image used to depict industrial output during the Depression and rightly so. Hine concentrates on the workers rather than the actual building and you can see just how precarious some of their activity is. Years before hardhats and workman's comp hundreds of seasoned craftsmen managed to erect a building nearly a quarter of a mile high in 410 days and weighing 365,000 tons.

Author Freddy Langer writes an interesting short essay about Lewis Hine explaining how he became interested in using photography to expose the exploitation of child labor during the early years of the last century. These photos were used in his book 'Kids at Work' (ISBN 0395797268). His interest in photographing the workplace got him the commission to record the building of the Empire State and some of these images also appeared in his 1932 book 'Men at Work' (ISBN 0486234754).

It is a shame that the book does not give more explanation to what the craftsmen are doing in the photos. A book that does have photos (though not by Hine) and detailed captions is 'Building the Empire State' (ISBN 0393730301) edited by Carol White, it reproduces seventy-seven pages of typewritten description, some of it quite technical, that someone at Starrett Brothers, the builders, produced as a record of the construction.

The Empire State was in competition with the Chrysler Building and a book by David Stravitz, 'The Chrysler Building' (ISBN 1568983549) is a week-by-week photographic construction record of Van Allen's Art Deco masterpiece with detailed captions to the pictures. Strangely many of Hine's photos clearly show the Chrysler Building in the background.

All three books celebrate the building of two stunning New York skyscrapers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars perfect - as good as new 6 Feb 2013
By John K
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is crammed with wonderful black and white images and stunning scenes of the men at work on the Empire State Building. Health and Dafety just would not allow it these days. It looked just as dangerous for the photographer as it was for the workers. Highly recommended and the condition was just as good as a new copy - at a fraction the price. delighted with it.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsung hero of American photography 14 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Pictures that are not well known, but warm the heart.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reaching Towards Heaven--An Empire of a Feat 15 Aug 2000
By "goldcoastreviews" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Library Binding
I like architecture. I like buildings. And I adore The Empire State building in New York City. (as if I need to mention location) This is an informative book by Mr. Doherty and others giving us a detailed view into dreams coming to life of the then tallest building in the world. How it was built, human drama behind the scenes, how fast it went up---4 stories a week, the limestone that was only brought in from Indiana, and other fascinating information.
With a glossary, index, photo's of helmeted men in 1930---daringly straddling beams above a floor of cement doom, one can relive visiting this icon or enjoy true anticipation of using one of its 73 elevators to reach for the heavens on an open aired viewing floor where everything from weddings to arm wrestling competitions take place.
Did you know they began using outdoor lights due to an aircraft bomber, lost in the fog and crashing into her 79th floor back in the 40's? And now, one can see it adorned with special lit colors--Blue was done as a tribute to Frank Sinatra, Blue & White for Churchill, and Gold for the Pope.
Yes, the building that may now not be the tallest, will forever hold a special place in our hearts. As seen in many movies, from King Kong to Sleepless In Seattle, we can step back and wonder who is behind those 6,000 windows ( you might spot Donald Trump, he owns part of her now ) and wistfully sigh at the romance of it all.
other reading suggestions: "The Majesty of the French Quarter" by Kerri McCaffety
--CDS--
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Craftsmen in the air. 1 Mar 2004
By Robin Benson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The sixty-five photographs in this book are probably the best of the thousand Lewis Hine took during the construction of the Empire State Building. Several are now the standard image used to depict industrial output during the Depression and rightly so. Hine concentrates on the workers rather than the actual building and you can see just how precarious some of their activity is. Years before hardhats and workman's comp hundreds of seasoned craftsmen managed to erect a building nearly a quarter of a mile high in 410 days and weighing 365,000 tons.
Author Freddy Langer writes an interesting short essay about Lewis Hine explaining how he became interested in using photography to expose the exploitation of child labor during the early years of the last century. These photos were used in his book 'Kids at Work' (ISBN 0395797268). His interest in photographing the workplace got him the commission to record the building of the Empire State and some of these images also appeared in his 1932 book 'Men at Work' (ISBN 0486234754).
It is a shame that the book does not give more explanation to what the craftsmen are doing in the photos. A book that does have photos (though not by Hine) and detailed captions is 'Building the Empire State' (ISBN 0393730301) edited by Carol White, it reproduces seventy-seven pages of typewritten description, some of it quite technical, that someone at Starrett Brothers, the builders, produced as a record of the construction.
The Empire State was in competition with the Chrysler Building and a book by David Stravitz, 'The Chrysler Building' (ISBN 1568983549) is a week-by-week photographic construction record of Van Allen's Art Deco masterpiece with detailed captions to the pictures. Strangely many of Hine's photos clearly show the Chrysler Building in the background.
All three books celebrate the building of two stunning New York skyscrapers.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Memories 30 April 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is wonderful. The pictures bring back a time in our country's history that was hopeful and expansive - a nice antidote to today's closed attitudes. Anyone with an interest in American history and the story of one our momumental achievements should have this book. P.S. Children love this book too -- my two sons take it off the shelf almost every night!
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary but engaging construction photographs. 20 Jun 2014
By Charlie Chernoff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The intro to the story led me to buying these historic photos and I am not disappointed with the promotional intro. It is a pleasure to realize that booksellers make every effort to describe their books properly.
5.0 out of 5 stars Pictures that come alive 21 April 2013
By Theodore Moeller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It took fearless people to build the Empire State Building and they come alive thru the wonderful pictures in this book.
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