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Los Angeles, Portrait of a City
Format: HardcoverChange
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
At last, the city at the end of the rainbow gets the Taschen treatment: a large, chunky, 570 page, visual history. This is more than just an ordinary picture book though, because so many of the photos, after the Thirties, have been taken by named photographers (there are biographies of thirty-nine of them at the back of the book) and it's the mixing of their work and anonymous photos that I thought gave the book a special feel. Another interesting theme reflects the creativity of the city with the use of quotes from well-known historical books and movies that appear throughout the pages, nicely with a graphic of the jacket or poster.

Having looked through the pages it does seem amazingly comprehensive. The seven chapters run from 1862 to the last photo in 2005. Each starts with a several hundred word overview followed by a spread with a period map then by captioned photos. Cultural, political and sports personalities, architecture (including street scenes plus industry) and historic news photos are the dominant themes and I thought the selection was rather impressive, there doesn't seem to be any image that would make me say "Just why is that one included".

What I really love about the book is its big page size. Pin-sharp photos from before 1940 are frequently run over a spread and look terrific as do news photos from later decades (all printed with a 175 screen). Tying in with the historical book and movie links throughout the book the back pages carry a recommended list of viewing, listening and reading material that sum up this intriguing city.

A slightly similar photo book of Los Angeles but with images selected from the last few decades which might be worth checking out is Looking at Los Angeles, with many of the same well-known photographers as Jim Heimann's book.
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on 7 November 2014
After living in Los Angeles for over 30 years I thought I knew pretty much about the city. This book presents an excitement to the reader to learn more about the city. The collection of photographs and commentaries have been researched thoroughly. They Are presented in a chronological manner depicting the historic growth and expansion from historic archives and more. I was surprised at the extensive collection of maps and photographs in the book, some I have seen before but this is a great collection and to my mind is one of the best to date and properly represents the story of Los Angeles.
Great visuals, an excellent book for anyone who want to know about my city or wants to look through the eyes of the photographer and see the city grow.
Would recommend this to anyone.
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on 30 August 2013
This book is great value for money, very informative and fabulous photos.
I bought this book as I've always had an interest in old Hollywood and Los Angeles in general, and this ticked all the boxes.
I'm looking to get the London and New York one next.
Would highly recommend it.
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on 8 August 2014
A great book in a fantastic series showcasing the Worlds greatest cities, others in the series, London, Berlin, Paris are equally just as fantastic you've got to get the set, sit back and see the World through Taschen's eyes!
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on 27 November 2013
Wonderful design, this is the perfect historic companion for those who have fallen in love with this amazing city. Great coffee table book.
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on 17 June 2013
Lovley book as I have said in the previous review I love the pictures.Very quick delivery & with a very good map
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