River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West
The world as we know it today began in California in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. This extraordinary assertion is at the heart of Rebecca Solnit's brilliant new work of cultural history. Weaving together biography, history, and fascinating insights into art, technology, landscape, and philosophy, Solnit has created a boldly original portrait of America on the threshold of modernity.
During a period of feverish creativity that commenced in 1872, Eadweard Muybridge succeeded for the first time in capturing and reanimating high-speed motion on film-the crucial breakthrough that made movies possible. He also continued his series of breathtaking photographs of the monumental landscape of the American West, served as official photographer of the grueling war against the Modoc Indians, and, in a blaze of publicity, stood trial for the murder of his wife's lover. In Solnit's taut, compelling narrative, Muybridge's life becomes a lens for a larger story about the transformation of time and space in the nineteenth century. With dazzling erudition and a rare mastery of the interlocking histories of art, technology, politics, and commerce, Solnit shows how the peculiar freedoms and opportunities of post-Civil War California led directly to the two industries-Hollywood and Silicon Valley-that have most powerfully defined the contemporary world.
River of Shadowsis Solnit's most captivating book yet-wide- ranging in its allusions, daring in its connections, always surprising in its conclusions.
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Review: River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild WestUser Review - Lori - Goodreads
The fact that it took me probably a year to finish this book is not an indication of my enjoyment level of it. Although at the base this is a biography of Eadweard Muybridge, the man who basically ... Read full review
Review: River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild WestUser Review - Katy - Goodreads
This was so interesting! A biography of Muybridge, but it also had a lot of historical background on late 19th century California. Read full review