Press

Television: A Biography

978-0-500-51916-5

“Film critic Thomson turns away from his usual medium of choice, the big screen, and tackles the history of the ‘elephant’ in our living rooms. This is not an appraisal of hit TV shows and their players, but rather a sharp analysis of its impact on collective consciousness. Thomson provides valuable insight in [this] readable examination of this pervasive medium over the past 60 years.”

— Library Journal

“The eminent film writer offers a personal celebration of his particular fascinations and a provocative consideration of the ways in which the very mechanics of the medium affect the audience, both as individuals and as a mass culture. Thomson's insights are typically unsparing and acute, and while many of the implications of his argument are troubling, his love and admiration for the best of TV are palpable. A bracing, essential engagement with the ramifications of our lives before the small screen.”

— Kirkus Reviews

“The greatest writer about the big screen has now written a defining book about the small screen.”

— Geoff Dyer

“A panoramic history of television that’s full of thoughtfulness, gusto and intelligence. It’s also extremely entertaining. At the moment when screens are finally everywhere, David Thomson is out to decide how we salvage excellence from ubiquity.”

— David Hare

“Only a mind as resourceful and clever as David Thomson's would have the courage to try to put his arms around the whole “vast wasteland” of our beloved, hated television and make some idiosyncratic sense of it.”

— Ken Burns

“Unlike almost all critics, David Thomson is unafraid to see, to read, to experience or re-experience the story television tells as true history—not a reflection, but a version of what really happened in the world at large, and what may.”

— Greil Marcus

“The eminent film writer offers a personal celebration of his particular fascinations and a provocative consideration of the ways in which the very mechanics of the medium affect the audience, both as individuals and as a mass culture. Thomson's insights are typically unsparing and acute, and while many of the implications of his argument are troubling, his love and admiration for the best of TV are palpable. A bracing, essential engagement with the ramifications of our lives before the small screen.”

— Kirkus Reviews

“The greatest writer about the big screen has now written a defining book about the small screen.”

— Geoff Dyer

“A panoramic history of television that’s full of thoughtfulness, gusto and intelligence. It’s also extremely entertaining. At the moment when screens are finally everywhere, David Thomson is out to decide how we salvage excellence from ubiquity.”

— David Hare

“Only a mind as resourceful and clever as David Thomson's would have the courage to try to put his arms around the whole “vast wasteland” of our beloved, hated television and make some idiosyncratic sense of it.”

— Ken Burns

“Unlike almost all critics, David Thomson is unafraid to see, to read, to experience or re-experience the story television tells as true history—not a reflection, but a version of what really happened in the world at large, and what may.”

— Greil Marcus

“Thomson has written an enthralling and very necessary book about the complex medium of television [which he] considers almost as a life form. [He] loosely divides his book into McLuhan-esque halves, 'The Medium' and 'The Message,' [but] isn’t doctrinaire about his construct, and we’re the better for it as he chats away, making thought-provoking and always entertaining observations about television’s explosive growth. Thomson has trained his singular vision on the dominant medium of our lives, our constant — if not always welcome — companion, tightening its hold on our culture and our minds with a proliferation of portable screens. What readers will take away [is that] you cannot love television and understand its preeminent role in contemporary life without contrary feelings of resentment, disappointment and even outright hatred.”

— San Francisco Chronicle

“The film critic brings his idiosyncratic, essayistic approach to this volume about the small screen. Don’t expect a formal history; Thomson instead bobs and weaves his way through shows and themes, from “The Donna Reed Show” and “I Love Lucy” to “Friends” (“as flimsy and essential as tissue paper”) and “Breaking Bad” (“like a novel by a master storyteller”).”

— Newsday

“A splendid, panoramic, multi-faceted examination of the medium and its messages, spread out from its humble beginnings to its contemporary spot in the 21st century’s busy crossroads of high-tech pop culture.”

— Parade.com

“Absorbing and authoritative… Television: A Biography is a definitive read on the subject of television. It’s a majestic book, in its physical shape and the content found inside…a warm, readable account of television’s enveloping history. [Thomson] gives us an exquisite account of television’s cultural impact, pieced together through cherry-picked shows, stars and genres of the medium. His compact, fluid writing style is at odds with the amount of ideas and concepts he pushes into the reader’s view, allowing them to think a little deeper about the cultural implications television often comes with, but always ties together the loose ends into a satisfying conclusion.”

— PopMatters

“Always insightful but never condescending… [A] magisterial survey of English-language television and its impact on both sides of the Atlantic. Whether Thomson is considering black-and-white or multi-colored programs, from today and past decades, embarrassments as well as the best and the brightest, he brings everything he writes about to life with an immediacy and quite outstanding vividness.”

— Washington Times

“A large, lavishly illustrated, erudite, and richly analytical look at television and its influence. Thomson closely examines the medium’s cultural impact by taking a largely thematic approach to revealing just how pervasive it has become in our lives.”

— Booklist

“Funny, sarcastic and illuminating.”

— Boston Herald

“Deeply insightful, gracefully written, totally compelling… Plow through this 416-page anthropological monster and you will know all you need to know about the evolution of TV over the last 70 years and—more important—how and why it has assumed such a central position in our lives. Thomson’s pricy book is worth it because he thinks differently and has written the real thing when it comes to understanding the 500-pound gator in the room.”

— LA Weekly

“Critic David Thomson offers an intelligent and lively survey of the history of television. The subject of this ambitious study is vast. As of 2015, by Thomson's estimate, some 5,000 years worth of television, from the sublime to the execrable, have unfolded before our eyes. Thomson commands this surfeit of material impressively, and his taste is eclectic. Television: A Biography captures the ‘ordinary, casual pleasure to be felt with television,’ though it's ‘tinged with unease at what the medium has done to us.’ Anyone who's been alive in the era of TV would have to concede, as David Thomson eloquently demonstrates here, that its transformational influence on every aspect of life in the United States has been nothing less than profound.”

— Shelf Awareness

“One of the great books about television extant. [Thomson] is able to think about the medium provocatively, profoundly and originally. Whether you think of it as a David Thomson book or a book about television is of no matter. Either way, it is a book worth waiting decades for.”

— Buffalo News

Textiles of the Banjara: Cloth and Culture of a Wandering Tribe

978-0-500-51837-3

“the first full volume dedicated to the traditional clothing of the Banjara…. This book presents beautiful, full-color photographs of these exquisite designs, alongside photograph descriptions, cultural and technological research, and historical information.”

— ProtoView

“without doubt one of the best books on the history and techniques of the Banjara designs….must-have for all designers”

— The Washington Bookreview

Textiles: The Whole Story

978-0-500-29113-9

“When this book was published in hardcover in 2011, I called it ‘a bravura scholarly performance’ …It is a pleasure to see this paperback form, at roughly half the original price.”

— Stanley Abercrombie Interior Design

Thames

978-0-500-54374-0

“Brings us to faraway places…. Gives a duck’s-eye view of the nation.”

— Daily News Los Angeles

“A monumental undertaking…. The perspective, proportions, distance to the shore, and even the seasons, ebb and flow fluidly, mixing single moments from four months of work into a continuous visual experience.”

— Orion

The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Photography

978-0-500-54447-1

“Boasting 1,200 entries, this sharp volume is proof that while the Internet is a seemingly infinite source of information, there is no substitute for a well-edited (and handsome) dictionary.”

— San Francisco Chronicle

“This concise reference does a fine job of covering the artistic, cultural, historical, and technical aspects of the vast field of photography. Eighty researchers and 150 consultants in the field were consulted, giving this work a global focus and scholarly gravitas, yet the entries are very accessible… Recommended for most public and academic libraries and essential for special collections in photography.”

— Booklist

“The history and global sweep of photography are well served by this comprehensive, elegant reference book, produced by an impressive international team… A sturdy, tall-format binding, heavy matte paper, and a terrific layout with lots of white space add to the book’s functional and aesthetic appeal. Important publications are noted in the entries for further research and will prove helpful for librarians involved in collection building. Highly recommended.”

— Choice

“An indispensable reference volume for an exquisitely distilled compendium of the most significant contributions to the art…. The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Photography takes us back to an earlier way of engaging with information, giving us the opportunity to find and discover gems at our fingertips, reminding us that there’s nothing quite like the experience of the book itself.”

— Crave Online

That's My Hat!

978-0-500-65057-8

“With its bold primary color scheme, engaging visual humor, and various amusing encounters, this is a chase worth taking part in.”

— Publishers Weekly

The Theatre of Apparitions

978-0-500-54464-8

“Roger Ballen explores a new realm, carving out figures from black paint on glass to create cave-drawing abstractions, with the usual psychological twists. In chapters with titles ranging from 'Eros' to 'Melancholy,' he probes dreamlike corners of the human psyche.”

— American Photo

“The visual Shakespeare of our time, with good measures of Freud and Jung tossed in, especially Jung!… [Ballen] knows the many parts we play externally in the drama of life, but also most especially the archetypal parts within each of us that are struggling and trying to assert themselves, as some of them may wish to be externalized; they hover, cower, act out the most secret of emotions, desires, fears, and drives, and translate them into potential actions in our everyday existence. The shadows know it all… In collaboration with Marguerite Rossouw, Ballen paints and draws these spirits on windows and other panes, then photographs the results, one-of-a-kind and ethereal as works of art, and short-lived except through the photographs and this book, a source of self-discovery and astonishment for those who dare.”

— The PhotoBook

Thierry Mugler

978-0-500-51520-4

“Filled with stunning photographs”

— Zink

“Filled with stunning photographs chronicling the designer’s work, Thierry Mugler: Galaxy Glamour is in itself a work of well-organized art”

— Zink

Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living

978-0-500-51676-8

“A new book full of gorgeous and meticulously organized photographs of old school and modern tech broken down and laid bare.”

— The Huffington Post

“The photos are enjoyable as pure eye candy, but they also illustrate the history of modern manufacturing.”

— Wired.com

“McLellan’s photographs seek to challenge our disposable culture by making transparent all the things that we regularly throw away.”

— NPR Picture Show

“A geeky adoration of design, disassembly, and tinkering.”

— Publishers Weekly

“…50 disassembled classics of mechanical and electronic design, with the components first arrayed in formal order and then in midair freefall.”

— The New York Times Book Review

“Fifty objects and 21,959 components later, Mr. McLellan is still disassembling objects.”

— Florida Weekly

“This fascinating book showcases unique photos of 50 design classics in a dismantled, meticulously rearranged form—including an iPad, grand piano and an espresso machine.”

— FrontiersLA.com

“Truly unique.”

— Woman Around Town

Think and Make Like an Artist: Art Activities for Creative kids

978-0-500-65098-1

“Aspiring young artists looking for creative inspiration will be well served by this engaging book of lively art projects. All the projects featured are bright, colorful, and a little zany and none require advanced artistic skills.”

— Booklist

“An inspiring introduction to the concept of art as a vehicle to comment on or question the world… Tackling painting, sculpture, paper craft, photography, and more, this art-related activity book asks readers to respond to the world around them by creating. The instructions leave room for experimentation, and suggested materials are easy to find, often incorporating everyday household objects. Great for teachers, libraries, and budding makers looking for fresh and colorful hands-on activities.”

— School Library Journal

“The perfect gift for the budding artist. Different from a run-of-the-mill crafting book… while also providing instructions for some thoughtful, display-worthy crafts.”

— ArtDesk

This Book Thinks You're a Scientist: Experiment, Imagine, Create

978-0-500-65081-3

“Playfully illustrated with sketchlike cartoons and doctored photos, this activity book is inspired by Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery, an interactive exhibit opening at the Science Museum in London in October 2016. Seven core subjects are addressed through simple activities [that] encourage imagination, curiosity, and careful observation. Readers are invited to add their observations and conclusions into the scrapbook-style pages.”

— Publishers Weekly

This Way Madness Lies

978-0-500-51897-7

This Way Madness Lies tells a colorful history, one rich in incident…The book's wealth of artwork has been sumptuously reproduced.”

— The New York Times Book Review

“An illuminating, generously illustrated book that accompanies the exhibition Bedlam: The Asylum and Beyond on madness and the history of its treatment.”

— SCIENCE Magazine

“Fascinating and lavishly illustrated…Provides a lively account of developments in the past three centuries [about] the fate of the mentally ill. Mr. Jay has taken great pains to try to recover what it must have been like to be a patient in the asylum and to offer an array of images, made by the inmates themselves, that give some access to their feelings about their confinement and the emotional and intellectual turmoil that consumed them.”

— The Wall Street Journal

Three Centuries of American Prints

978-0-500-23952-0

“The innovative and handsomely illustrated companion volume makes its own lasting impression….Print exhibition catalogs are not generally known for their biting wit.”

— Antiques and The Arts Weekly

Through the Forest

978-0-500-65076-9

“With a broad, brown path winding through to trace with a finger, Brocoli’s painted scenes of stylized wildlife in woodsy settings look bright and busy without sacrificing an idyllic air. Young audiences eager to strike out on their own, but not too far, will enjoy [this] walk in the woods, with choose-your-own routes.”

— Kirkus Reviews

“enchanting illustrations and intriguing stories…. for readers that love to imagine adventures around every corner”

— Cherry Blossoms the Blog

“A young adventurer’s delight…. The collage-like artwork is soft, plush and kid-friendly so that whether children end up in the dark or up a tree to escape wild animals, the scenario is not scary at all; just thrilling, the way any adventure should be.”

— Picture Book Depot

Tibet: An Inner Journey

978-0-500-28905-1

“Matthieu’s spiritual life and his camera are one and the same, and it is from this unity that these fleeting yet eternal images spring.”

— Henri Cartier-Bresson

“Has captured the spirituality, purity and courage of the people of Tibet, along with the beauty of their homeland.”

— Inquiring Mind

Timmy the Tug

978-0-500-51496-2

“Vigorous, witty, and, as in all [Hughes’s] subsequent poetry for children, free from the temptation of talking down to his readers.”

— The Times [London]

“Hughes fans especially will value this rough-hewn gem”

— Publishers Weekly

Training Days: The Subway Artists Then and Now

978-0-500-23921-6

“A fascinating primer on graffiti writers and culture. Readers interested in the birth of hip-hop, urban culture, or modern art will find this work especially engrossing …The ultimate fascination lies in the artists’ dissection and analyses of their own styles and those of their contemporaries. Readers may be surprised by the careful thought and planning that the execution of each piece entailed.”

— Library Journal

“Presents the first-person accounts of 12 infamous graffiti writers of the 1970s.”

— Fast Co.Design

“With panoramic photographs by Henry Chalfant, a producer of the 1983 documentary Style Wars, and first-person accounts captured by former graffiti artist Sacha Jenkins, Training Days opens a window onto the hidden practice of these artists.”

— Public Art Review

“What comes across most clearly is the power of the human spirit. In a volume only six inches by eight inches, photographs add flavor but, unlike most graffiti books, the words dominate.”

— Rock & Rap Confidential