Based on the widely popular blog that started as a side project in a basement, " Retronaut "reveals strange yet enlightening photographs from the past that somehow seem to depict another version of now. Read more...
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Based on the widely popular blog that started as a side project in a basement, " Retronaut "reveals strange yet enlightening photographs from the past that somehow seem to depict another version of now. Martha Stewart as a fashion model, Kim Jong Il in a bumper car, and Ronald Reagan modeling for a sculpture class--this quirky page-turner enriched with author Chris Wild's unique wit and oddball knowledge is a must-have for collectors of the unusual.
Wild, a former museum archivist, has revolutionized the way we think of dusty photos--turning them into a sensation that has taken the Internet by surprise. He has selected over 300 of the best photographs from the site's most visited eras and themes, mashing up Victoriana with vintage advertising from the '60s and '70s and unearthing rare snapshots of evil dictators taking vacations. Page by page, this unconventional, thought-provoking photographic time machine will change what you think you know about history.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-09-01
- Reviewer: Staff
Wild, an avid collector of old color photos since childhood, graciously extends an invitation into his fascinating collection of over 350 images. Opening with a now-hilarious ad for CompuServe from 1982 that presciently promises email, up-to-the-minute news sites, and online gaming, along with of shots of the dashboard of K.I.T.T., the futuristic Trans Am from the ‘80s show Knight Rider, it's clear that the tone of the collection is one of celebration and shared nostalgia rather than cold, arch hipster irony. Some of the images are made even more remarkable by accompanying anecdotes: a tin and a Bible that both saved their respective owners' lives by stopping bullets; others are fascinating for their historical context: portraits of three women who fought as men during the Civil War; and some are just plain awe-inspiring: seriously twisted valentines from the 1930s through ‘50s. The are images of the first documented emoticons via Victorian typographical art from 1881, as well as flying cars, robot bands, and the first photograph of a human. Candid shots, such as the cast of Star Trek rocking some serious leisure suits at the dedication of the space shuttle Enterprise, Katherine Hepburn skateboarding, and Boris Karloff cutting his birthday cake in full Frankenstein makeup give the book added depth and warmth. With every page comes a surprise; this terrific collection never ceases to entertain. (Sept.)