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Material World: A Global Family Portrait (Sierra Club Books Publication) Paperback – 2 Sep 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Printing edition (2 Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871564300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871564306
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 1.6 x 30.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 439,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Peter Menzel is a photographer known for his coverage of international feature stories on science and the environment. His award-winning photographs have been published in "Life, " "National Geographic, " "Smithsonian, " the "New York Times Magazine, " "Time, " "Stern, " "GEO, " and "Le Figaro." Together with Faith D'Aluisio, he is the co-creator of the books "Material World: A Global Family Portrait" and "Women in the Material World;" and is the co-author of "Man Eating Bugs: The Art and Science of Eating Insects."

Charles C. Mannis the author of "1491", whichwon the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Keck award for the best book of the year. A correspondent for "The Atlantic Monthly", "Science", and" Wired", he has covered the intersection of science, technology, and commerce for many newspapers and magazines here and abroad, includingthe "New York Times", "Vanity Fair, "the"Washington Post, " and more. In addition to "1491", he was the co-author offour other non-fiction books.He is now working on a companion volume to "1491." His website is www.charlesmann.org.

Charles C. Mannis the author of "1491", whichwon the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Keck award for the best book of the year. A correspondent for "The Atlantic Monthly", "Science", and" Wired", he has covered the intersection of science, technology, and commerce for many newspapers and magazines here and abroad, includingthe "New York Times", "Vanity Fair, "the"Washington Post, " and more. In addition to "1491", he was the co-author offour other non-fiction books.He is now working on a companion volume to "1491." His website is www.charlesmann.org.

Paul Kennedy is the author or editor of thirteen books, including "Preparing for the Twenty-first Century" and T"he Rise and Fall of the Great Powers," which has been translated into more than twenty languages. He serves on the editorial board of numerous scholarly journals and has written for "The New York Times," "Los Angeles Times," "The Atlantic Monthly," and several other publications. Educated at Newcastle University and Oxford University, he is a former fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University and of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung in Bonn.


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
At first glance this seems a bizarre book, loads of families with all their junk strewn out on the street and lots of pictures of them doing every day activities. I am a member of the average family of Great Britain, one of the countries featured in this book. I was 15 when the photos were taken and when the interviews, videos and documentaries were undertaken. At the time I don't think I realised the scale of the project or the impact it would have on people's conversations. When it was first published in a newspaper in Britain, our family was pictured and interviewed alongside the family from Burma; there could not be more of a contrast. Over the years it has made me realise, more and more as I read the book and talk about it, just how lucky we are in the West. I was looking at the book this morning and it dawned on me just how many of the possessions in the book have now been replaced in my parents house, bed, sofas, fridge. And we are so lucky to have the means to replace things like that with little effect on our overall standard of living and I think that the book reflects this, especially for countries such as America and Britain. I know some people who have got hold of the book, then realised that I am in it and it has provoked some really interesting conversations and discussions. I also know people who have used the book in assemblies in schools, in sermons in church and in RE lessons. The book is certainly inspiring, however the recent idea of doing a Material World Revisited, 10 years down the line is not a prospect I relish that much! Get the book though, it is fantastic bedtime reading and also good if you have boring visitor over that you do't want to entertain, give them the book and they'll be fascinated!
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Format: Hardcover
Every household should have a copy of this book. The photographs show how diverse the world is; how poor most of the world is; how vulnerable all humans are. It has provided for some good discussion with my children, and it made me reflect on what material goods I have and on what I value.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Absolutely fascinating book. Visual representation of income and lifestyle of different families from all around the world is simply striking. I bought it because I'd seen only one picture from it on Facebook and I couldn't stop myself from buying the whole book. Brilliant!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the photos in this book. I first saw them as a postcard book when they were first published and the images of how differently people live their lives around the world made a lasting impact. Some (European) families have a streetful of stuff outside their homes, others a couple of rugs, a few cooking pots and a sackful of grain. To me the commentary comes over as a bit self-righteous, but it doesn't matter as the photos really speak for themselves.
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Format: Paperback
I was given this book by my husband when it was first published in the '90's and the disparity it portrayed really shocked me. Then my children were born, and as they have been growing up, we have pulled it out from time to time to show them just how lucky they are. We have referred to it when they make their requests for the latest video gaming systems and mobile phones, and have opened it up when discussing what true happiness means... I have just returned from my first business trip to India, where I was put up in 5-star hotels, but drove by cardboard shanty towns on my way to my meetings, on motorways that were full of carts and horses, pedestrians, scooters with entire families as passengers, and taxis jammed with 8 or 9 people. When I got home, I pulled this book out again to show my colleagues who were travelling with me and with whom I had some lengthy discussions about the privilege we Westerners enjoy, and I'm going to talk to my children's school teachers about using it as a tool in some of their global citizenship discussions. Everyone should read this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting book looking at the lives and posessions of people around the world. Highlights cultural interests and differences in ways of life. Easy to read and great photos. Recommended for interest and great coffee table book.
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Format: Paperback
Despite being about 20 years old, the issues in the book are current. I love the way that it sensitively exposes the inequalities in the world, and yet how each family shares a desire to live in love and peace. One small gripe: the references to population control were a bit intrusive, hence four stars.
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