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Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by [Egan, Timothy]
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Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

A "New York Times" Notable Book
A Best Book of the Year
"Christian Science Monitor," Amazon.com, "Publishers Weekly "
A vivid exploration of one man's lifelong obsession with an idea . . . Egan s spirited biography might just bring [Curtis] the recognition that eluded him in life. "Washington Post "
Edward Curtis was charismatic, handsome, a passionate mountaineer, and a famous portrait photographer, the Annie Leibovitz of his time. He moved in rarefied circles, a friend to presidents, vaudeville stars, leading thinkers. But when he was thirty-two years old, in 1900, he gave it all up to pursue his Great Idea: to capture on film the continent s original inhabitants before the old ways disappeared.
Curtis spent the next three decades documenting the stories and rituals of more than eighty North American tribes. It took tremendous perseverance ten years alone to persuade the Hopi to allow him to observe their Snake Dance ceremony. And the undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. Curtis would amass more than 40,000 photographs and 10,000 audio recordings, and he is credited with making the first narrative documentary film. In the process, the charming rogue with the grade school education created the most definitive archive of the American Indian.
A darn good yarn. Egan is a muscular storyteller and his book is a rollicking page-turner with a colorfully drawn hero. "San Francisco Chronicle"
"A riveting biography of an American original." "Boston Globe "

"

About the Author

TIMOTHY EGANis a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, a"New York Times"columnist, winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in nonfiction, and the author of seven books, most recently"Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher."His previous books include"The Worst Hard Time, "which won a National Book Award, and the national bestseller"The Big Burn."He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 18116 KB
  • Print Length: 389 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (9 Oct. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006R8PH4I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #615,500 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The scale, scope, and significance of this magnificent biography by National Book Award-winner Timothy Egan are only slightly eclipsed by the immense scale, scope, and significance of the work of his subject, photographer Edward Curtis (1868 - 1952). Curtis, at age twenty-eight, took his first photograph of a Native American when he did a portrait of "Princess Angeline," an aged woman who was the last surviving child of Chief Seattle, for whom the American city was named. By 1896, when Curtis took this photo, it was illegal for Princess Angeline and other Indians to live within the city named for her father. By 1900, Native American tribes, nation-wide, now "owned" and occupied a mere two percent of the lands they had originally possessed, and this land was in no way suited to their long cultural traditions. The bison on which they depended for their food and skins were all but wiped out, and the land given to them was completely unsuitable for their sustenance.

Curtis was obsessed with the possibilities of photography for saving these cultures - as a photographic record, at least. Ultimately, his self-imposed mission took him to virtually every remaining tribal area and state west of the Mississippi River, from New Mexico and Oklahoma to the Dakotas and Montana, back to Washington State, and eventually, north to Alaska. Spending weeks and often months with some tribal groups and visiting several others for a number of years in succession in order to be sure that he was recording their lives accurately, Curtis was totally devoted to his task, giving up virtually everything of personal value, working for no money at all, and living most of his life hopelessly in debt in order to fulfill his personal mission. Eventually, he would succeed in gaining the patronage of J. P.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pro:
The biography element of this book is well written and an interesting read about a unique photographers life and times photographing the Native Americans of the early 1900's.

Cons:
Of the 370 pages the last 45 pages are Acknowledgements, Sources and a lengthy index.

On the front cover it reads 'The Epic life and immortal photographs of Edward Curtis'
There are under 30 photographs in the book, only about 25 of which are of his Native American works.

Worst Con:
I can go buy a modern day celeb. hard back biography for the discount price of under a fiver and the quality of print would be much better than the quality that this book has been published under. In modern celebrity biography books you get the writing on normal good quality paper and their selected photos are printed on photo quality paper dotted throughout the book. Maybe the publisher decided not to do this with this book in keeping with the era and to go with a more rustic style. But they've printed the photos onto the standard paper along with the normal text and I feel that it's really let the quality of the book down as a result.

Round-up:
Well written biography, disappointing amount of his photographs included and on non photographic quality paper. For the price I felt disappointed.

Recommendation:
If you're debating on which version of the book to buy I'd recommend paying £10 for the Kindle Edition instead, as you won't be massively missing out on the photo quality.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Got this as a present for someone and ended up getting one for myself. Its relatively easy to read but its the photographs that make it. Modern digital cameras are good at what they do and are marvellous, but there`s something about old, very old, photographs.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this book as a Christmas Present for my Dad.
When I received it I was very disappointed with the quality of this hardback.
The pages are all out of size making it look like a cheap photocopy version of the book.
I would send it back but the time before Christmas doesn't allow for this.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband is fascinated by the American Indians. We have family living just outside Seattle so know this area fairly well which meant this was a great present for his birthday. The only disappointment was the lack of photographs in this book - it's mainly writing so anyone expecting lots of examples of his work will be unhappy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a Christmas present for my mum. Initially it was on a c. 6 week lead time which suddenly became 1 week. However the quality of the book's construction is very poor with pages varying in size, poorly cut, twisted etc. etc. On top of this the quality of the photo's was very poor - faded, ill defined detail etc. almost as if the photo's had been repeatedly photocopied !?! Very disapointed and embarrassed when it was unwrapped.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
THIS, TODAY, MAY BE BETTER DESCRIBED AS 'UNKOWN ' RATHER THAN FORGOTEN BECAUSE ALTHOUGH I HAVE BEEN AWARE OF THE MORE FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY EDWARD CURTIS,OF GERONIMO,CHIEF JOSEPH, Etc.,I WAS UNAWARE OF THE DEDICATED LIFE THAT EDWARD CURTIS DEVOTED TO ESTABLISHING THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN. TIMOTHY EGAN HAS DONE A WONDERFUL JOB IN PIECING TOGETHER ALL THE INCIDENTS IN CURTIS'S LIFE THAT RECORD THIS HISTORY. IT IS JUST A SHAME THAT BY THE TIME CURTIS STARTED HIS OBSERVATIONS AND PHOTOGRAPHIC RECORD,IN THE LATE 1800's, THE VARIOUS TRIBES WERE BEING DIMINISHED BY THE SO CALLED CIVILISING EFECT OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. STILL, THIS BOOK IS PROOF THAT IT IS "BETTER LATE THAN NEVER". THE SECTION ON GENERAL CUSTER IS PARTICULARLY REVEALING .
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