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Tina Modotti: Photographer and Revolutionary Paperback – 31 Aug 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Paperback, 31 Aug 2000
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Product details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press Inc; New edition edition (31 Aug. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306809818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306809811
  • Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 1.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,279,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Hooks (a Mexico-based journalist) offers a well-researched, deeply sympathetic, and superbly illustrated biography of the passionate Tins Modotti (1896-1942), whose love of Communism, photography, and men made her a legend in her own time. Modotti emigrated in 1913 from Italy to San Francisco, where she found a niche in theatrical circles, but her marriage to artist Robo Richey soon took her to Hollywood and a brief movie career. Then her close relationship with photographer Edward Weston - as his model, lover, and, ultimately, apprentice - gave more of an outlet for her talent than either her marriage or the movies and, after her husband's death in Mexico, she and Weston went there to experience their own artistic awakening. They contributed to the creative ferment fed by Mexico's political turbulence, but their happiness was short-lived, with Weston returning to the US alone. Modotti - who became the favorite photographer of the muralists Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco - took part increasingly in the revolutionary struggles sweeping the country, but when, in 1929, her exiled Cuban Communist lover was assassinated at her side on a Mexico City street, the ensuing publicity branded her as immoral and she rapidly became persona non grata. Expelled from Mexico, she journeyed through Germany to the Soviet Union, working eventually as a Communist field operative in Spain during the Civil War but abandoning photography entirely. In 1939, Modotti returned secretly to Mexico, only to die mysteriously three years later. A bit marred by unleavened prose, but a thorough account in words and photographs of an exceptional woman whose tragic life was nevertheless one of uncommon achievement. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Bought three biographies of TM to study for Mastermind appearance. This was the best - clear, easily readable, interesting and informative. The question setter obviously thought so too as this was where the bulk of the questions were taken from. For anyone with an interest in history of photography, or in 20th century politics, this would be a fascinating read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brilliant biography from a underrated photographer, lots of fine images and well argued case for Tina as a major artist.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Super biography which is well detailed and illustrated. Comprehensive and deserves to be the standard bio.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9d1d5894) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dc6c8b8) out of 5 stars A Woman of many lives 20 Sept. 2011
By Jeaninne M. Kato - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I happened upon my interest in Tina Modotti as a result of studying mid-20th century Mexican artists. Like Frida, Tina was a woman light years ahead of her time. A previous review of this book included the comment that the author, Margaret Hooks, didn't personalize this story enough. I disagree. I found this account spellbinding because Tina's many lives speak for themselves; I respected the way Hooks provided the facts so Tina's story could unfold on the merit of its own brilliance. Without giving away all the juicy tidbits of this fascinating life, suffice it to say, Tina began as a poor Italian immigrant who landed in San Francisco with her fractured family. She morphed into an actress during the Golden Age of Hollywood; became one of the world's most renowned photographers in Mexico (thanks to her lover, the great Edward Westin); and, traversed the globe as an active Communist against Fascism during World War II. Learning about her surrealistic life in such detail (with much I have purposefully left out), had me thinking about her story in between times when I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Her photographs alone will make you feel deeply. As cliche as my next statement may be, I have to say it: "Tina Modotti: Radical Photographer" is a must read.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dba1a5c) out of 5 stars A beautiful story about a beautiful and intelligent woman. 18 Feb. 2015
By Blisco - Published on
Format: Paperback
I was born in the same town as Tina Modotti and almost in the same street. I enjoyed this book because it is full of information about his life but also on the time and society. The book contains more information than all the books I have read on her. I am amazed that in Italy, especially in Friuli, her region, she is almost unknown. I understand that during Fascism she could not return to Italy without the risk of going to jail. I understand that after the war she was banned by the church as the Pope decided the Communists were to be excommunicated. But after the fall of communism, people could reconcile the memory of this artist in his homeland but this is not yet the case. Why? No doubt this is coming from the legendary indifference friulians has for anything out of the box which it's also the reason why that there is more friulians abroad than in Friuli despite the "Blue Friuli's mountains of Lord Byron.
Some, however, have begun to awaken his memory by dedicating songs and published on Youtube. Maybe someday this book will be translated into Italian or Friulian his native language.The book has already been translated in 9 languages but not yet in italian. Isn't that funny? The house where she born, somebody wanted to do a museum dedicated to her but unfortunately, the last owner, a widow, left this house to the church which doesn't want to hear about this project.So, the Modotti's story is going on.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dba1fe4) out of 5 stars Illuminates and motivates 12 Nov. 2014
By Gerardo A Salazar - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An in-depth book that both illuminates the reader concerning this compelling woman and motivates one to action.
11 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dba1e70) out of 5 stars A passionate, courageous, and inspiring woman! 31 Dec. 1997
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Tina Modotti was a restless soul on an journey through art, politics, and history. A courageous fighter and humanitarian until the end. Tina is a true heroine with a strong passion for life, and love for photography.
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