In an unprecedented effort, sixteen of the world’s foremost photographers traveled to thirty nations around the globe to live for a week with families that were statistically average for that nation. At the end of each visit, photographer and family collaborated on a remarkable portrait of the family members outside their home, surrounded by all of their possessionsa few jars and jugs for some, an explosion of electronic gadgetry for others. Vividly portraying the look and feel of the human condition everywhere on Earth, this internationally acclaimed bestseller puts a human face on the issues of population, environment, social justice, and consumption as it illuminates the crucial question facing our species today: Can all six billion of us have all the things we want?
A Global Family Portrait
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"It is a remarkable and captivating coupling of photographic art with economic and demographic statistics... the combination of detailed photographic presentations of material goods with the commentaries and statistics invites careful reading and cross-cultural comparison. " —Library Journal
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.
“Although Material World might appear to fall into the genre epitomized by Edward Steichen’s The Family of Man (1955), the book truly defies facile classification; it seems at once art, photojournalism, human geography, and visual anthropology. It is a remarkable and captivating coupling of photographic art with economic and demographic statistics… the combination of detailed photographic presentations of material goods with the commentaries and statistics invites careful reading and cross-cultural comparison. ” —Library Journal