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River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the…
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River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Rebecca Solnit

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4791436,947 (4.2)18
A brilliant biography of Eadweard Muybridge, and a luminous portrait of the age of high-speed innovation in which he lived
Member:bobreinhardt
Title:River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West
Authors:Rebecca Solnit
Info:Penguin Books (2004), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, Storage
Rating:
Tags:US History, US West, 19c, Box 12

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River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West by Rebecca Solnit (2003)

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Thought this would be more about the technology, not the history of the Wild West. The writing was fine, just not my thing. ( )
  shaundeane | Sep 13, 2020 |
Overall a great lense on Muybridge's life and work. Solnit focuses on how Muybridge helped change the way we exist in the world today, connecting him to the railroads, Sitting Bull, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and the state of California (among many many other things). Despite the complicated web of connections, for most of the book she exibits enough restraint to maintain the central narrative and keep it from becoming too unweildy. There's a sense that in the last chapter she gives up on that restraint (somehow connecting Star Trek's captain Sulu with the Modic Wars, for instance), but being at the end of the book there's a sense that she earned it. Overall it tells Muybridge's story in a unique, interesting, and sometimes surprising way. ( )
  dfwftw | Dec 27, 2019 |
This was so interesting! A biography of Muybridge, but it also had a lot of historical background on late 19th century California. ( )
  tronella | Jun 22, 2019 |
This is a biography of an early photographer and then a whole lot more; the west, industrialization, Stanford, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and Captain Jack. Wild and rambling, making sweeping surprising connections. All great fun and thought provoking. ( )
  snash | Sep 25, 2016 |
Basically amazing. Rebecca Solnit surveys Eadweard Muybridge's life and career, tracing the changing effects of space and time throughout his photographic work. At the same time, Muybridge is but a tiny corner in the story, simply the distillation of the larger cultural currents at play—the annihilation of space and time by railroads, telegraphs, and photography that radically changed our sense of what distance meant and made the world accessible (in a certain sense) to all.

Solnit also pulls off one of the my favorite opening chapters of all time, up there with Caro's survey of Robert Moses' power in the opening to The Power Broker. Read it! ( )
  gregorybrown | Oct 18, 2015 |
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A brilliant biography of Eadweard Muybridge, and a luminous portrait of the age of high-speed innovation in which he lived

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