About This Book
Ten real lives, ten photographs, ten journeys in time: the first killing of the Cold War, the dying hopes of a doomed aviator, the ghosts of Native America at Alcatraz, Chairman Mao’s most timid lover, Nature’s final battle with Man. One photograph – or group of photographs – comes from each decade of the 20th century. All belong to the Archive of Modern Conflict. Over the past 25 years the Archive’s small collection of amateur photographs has grown into one of the world’s most moving image treasuries, its shelves now holding pictures of some four million lost lives.
In the 20th century, amateur photography took history – and collective memory – out of the hands of historians and gave it to individuals. In Pictures of You, bestselling author Rory MacLean narrates a journey across the globe and into the lives of ordinary men and women who lived through extraordinary times. He travels along the Archive’s shelves, venturing from Siberia to Rangoon, China to Shepperton Studios, hearing forgotten voices that echo from the depths of time, picturing lives that mirror our own, and saving the stories behind these pictures of you.
‘A delicately beautiful book, haunting in its effect. Superb.’ Alexander McCall Smith
‘Stunning! A unique virtuoso exercise in empathy, narrative and imagination, with learning and hints of mysticism thrown in.’ Jan Morris
Rory MacLean is the author of more than a dozen books, including the UK top tens Stalin’s Nose and Under the Dragon. According to the late John Fowles, his works ‘marvellously show why literature still lives’. His recent Berlin: Imagine a City was chosen as a Book of the Year by the Washington Post, whose reviewer called it ‘the most extraordinary work of history I’ve ever read’.
ISBN 978-0-9951855-1-7. Paperback. 200 pp, 100 b&w illustrations. 13 x 19.8 cm/5 x 7 in. Published February 2017.