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Women by Annie Leibovitz
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Women

by Annie Leibovitz (Photographer), Susan Sontag (Author)

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Group H1
  gilsbooks | May 20, 2011 |
Portraiture of women from all walks of life. ( )
  phoenixcomet | Jun 21, 2010 |
Plot Synopsis
Women is a collection of photographs depicting the diversity of women and designed to challenge the traditional views of female beauty and advance the more contemporary ideology of woman as equal.

My Thoughts
Women are beautiful. And I'm not using that term in the "oh isn't Britney Spears hot" kind of way. From the image of Polly Weydener, aged and wrinkled, to the image of lithe showgirls, the women featured in this collection uniquely exhibit the various characteristics of woman - and I think the characteristics of humans. This substitution of humans for women is, I think, part of the point of this book. Women are not a group separate from human; we are human, and we are as differentiated in looks, personalities, desires, ambitions, and abilities as men.

Often thought of as a subclass of humanity, women are often described in terms of their gender in a way men are not. Joe is a great race car driver; Betty is a great female race car driver. Or another example, the riddle: A man and his son were in a car accident. The man died on the way to the hospital, but the boy was rushed into surgery. The surgeon said "I can't operate on this boy. He's my son." How is this possible?

I remember hearing this sometime in high school, and it was astounding how many people could not immediately figure out the answer. It seems so glaringly obvious. But we assume surgeons are men, so the idea of the surgeon being the boy's mother does not spring to mind. Answers I heard before Mother: the boy had two gay dads and the surgeon was the boy's stepfather.

As Susan Sontag writes in the beginning essay of Women, we are still "regarding individual man as an instance of humankind and an individual woman as an instance of...women". Men represent humanity - in "language, narrative, group arrangements, and family customs". Women are secondary, a subgroup within the larger category, not representative of the whole.

Descriptions of the images would just not be adequate, so if you are interested in seeing some of the pictures, go here.

I highly recommend purchasing this book for the images, the essay, the message. ( )
  EclecticEccentric | Dec 26, 2009 |
This was the perfect book to peruse - perhaps with a bottle of wine after a hard day at the office. It is one of those attractive coffee table books, packed with visual treats from a well-known and talented photographer; all quite stunning and depicting women in a diverse range of activity, age and demeanor. It is not a book of nudes or beauty or glamour – she portrays lawyers and prostitutes and artists and politicians and doctors and kitchen workers and body builders.

The pictures speak for themselves, and Susan Sontag adds that political feminist angle to make us cogitate some more.

Susan Sontag writes a characteristically intelligent essay to start off the book, with her razor sharp and agile mind, describing the ‘post-judgmental ethos gaining ascendancy in societies whose norms are drawn from the practices of consumerism.”

She also explores stereotypes that are still attached to the expected role of women – beauty, power, economics, domestic violence, and so on. She states; "A man ages into his powers. A woman ages into no longer being desired."

Sontag ends her essay in summary: “A book of photographs; a book about women; a very American project; generous, ardent, inventive, open-ended. It’s for us to decide what to make of these pictures. After all, a photograph is not an opinion. Or is it?”

If you enjoy Sontag’s intellectual acrobatics, or Leibovitz’s honest and compelling photography, this is worthwhile. ( )
  kiwidoc | Apr 23, 2009 |
Ms. Leibovitz knows her stuff! This is a wonderfu collection of representatives of the women around us.. from first ladies to body builders to prostitutes to surgeons to astronauts! ( )
  jastbrown | Jan 27, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Leibovitz, AnniePhotographerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sontag, SusanAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375756469, Paperback)

Each of the extraordinary portraits made by photographer Annie Leibovitz for her book Women stands on its own. Looked at together, these "photographs of people with nothing more in common than that they are women (and living in America at the end of the twentieth century), all--well almost all--fully clothed," writes Susan Sontag in the book's preface, form "an anthology of destinies and disabilities and new possibilities." Leibovitz, who in her years working for Rolling Stone, Vogue, and Vanity Fair magazines has photographed hundreds of celebrities, turns her lens on a wide range of ordinary and extraordinary female subjects: coal miners, socialites, first ladies, artists, domestic-violence victims, an astronaut, a surgeon, a maid. What she creates is a reflection of contemporary American womanhood that mirrors both women's accomplishments and the challenges they still face individually and as a group.

Leibovitz demonstrates her own range as a photographer in this body of work, shooting in the studio and natural settings and working in both black-and-white and color film. She depicts model Jerry Hall wearing a little black dress, a fur coat, and high heels, staring frankly at the viewer from a velvet chair in a plush red parlor while her naked infant son nurses from her exposed right breast. Schoolteacher Lamis Srour's eyes--the only part of her face visible behind her heavy black veil--illuminate a dark black-and-white portrait. Leibovitz frames actress Elizabeth Taylor and her dog Sugar by their shocks of snow-white hair. She captures four Kilgore College Rangerettes, a drill team, at the apex of their kicks--white-booted legs pointing up, obscuring their faces and revealing the red underpants beneath their blue miniskirts. There are many more wonderful and unexpected images here, over 200 in all. The delight in discovering them awaits readers. --Jordana Moskowitz

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:22 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The photographer turns her lens to a favorite topic, women, sharing her portraits of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Eudora Welty, Martina Navratilova, and Jodie Foster, as well as women from other walks of life, including a Navajo weaver, an astronaut, and a rancher… (more)

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