The Good, the Bad, and the Hungry Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | July 22, 2014

Nick Harkaway: IMG The Florist-Assassins



The three men lit up in my mind's eye, with footnotes. They were converging on me — and on the object I was carrying — in a way that had... Continue »
  1. $18.87 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Tigerman

    Nick Harkaway 9780385352413

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$14.50
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Beaverton Native American- General Native American Studies

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis

by

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis Cover

ISBN13: 9780618969029
ISBN10: 0618969020
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $14.50!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

How a lone mans epic obsession led to one of Americas greatest cultural treasures: Prizewinning writer Timothy Egan tells the riveting, cinematic story behind the most famous photographs in Native American history — and the driven, brilliant man who made them.

Edward Curtis was charismatic, handsome, a passionate mountaineer, and a famous photographer, the Annie Leibovitz of his time. He moved in rarefied circles, a friend to presidents, vaudeville stars, leading thinkers. And he was thirty-two years old in 1900 when he gave it all up to pursue his Great Idea: to capture on film the continents original inhabitants before the old ways disappeared.

An Indiana Jones with a camera, Curtis spent the next three decades traveling from the Havasupai at the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the Acoma on a high mesa in New Mexico to the Salish in the rugged Northwest rain forest, documenting the stories and rituals of more than eighty tribes. It took tremendous perseverance — ten years alone to persuade the Hopi to allow him into their Snake Dance ceremony. And the undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. Eventually Curtis took more than 40,000 photographs, preserved 10,000 audio recordings, and is credited with making the first narrative documentary film. In the process, the charming rogue with the grade school education created the most definitive archive of the American Indian.

His most powerful backer was Theodore Roosevelt, and his patron was J. P. Morgan. Despite the friends in high places, he was always broke and often disparaged as an upstart in pursuit of an impossible dream. He completed his masterwork in 1930, when he published the last of the twenty volumes. A nation in the grips of the Depression ignored it. But today rare Curtis photogravures bring high prices at auction, and he is hailed as a visionary. In the end he fulfilled his promise: He made the Indians live forever.

Review:

"Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Egan (The Worst Hard Time) turns his attention to one of Seattle's most remarkable — yet all but forgotten — residents. In the late 19th century, Edward Curtis was the era's reigning portrait photographer, so well respected that President Theodore Roosevelt chose him to photograph his daughter's wedding. Yet in 1900, at the height of his fame, Curtis gave it up to pursue what would become his life's work — 'a plan to photograph all the intact Native American tribes left in North America' before their ways of life disappeared. This idea received the backing of J.P. Morgan and culminated in a critically acclaimed 20-volume set, The North American Indian, which took Curtis 30 years to complete and left him divorced and destitute. Unfailingly sympathetic to his subject, Egan shadows Curtis as he travels from Roosevelt's summer home at Sagamore Hill to the mesas and canyons of the Southwest tribes and to the rain forests of the Coastal Indians and the isolated tundra on Nunivak Island. Egan portrays the dwindling tribes, their sacred rites (such as the Hopi snake dance), customs, and daily lives, and captures a larger-than-life cast. With a reporter's eye for detail, Egan delivers a gracefully written biography and adventure story. Agent: Carol Mann, Carol Mann Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"In this hauntingly beautiful book, Egan brings Curtis to life as vividly and with as much depth, heart and understanding as Curtis himself put into his timeless portraits. This is a story for the ages." Candice Millard, author of The River of Doubt and Destiny of the Republic

Review:

"Short Nights is not only the marvelous and rollicking account of life of one of America's extraordinary photographers. It is also a book about the extreme personal cost of outsized ambition. Edward Curtis undertook one of the most epic cultural projects in American history — photographing and documenting the vanishing ways of life of some eighty American Indian tribes. It cost him almost everything he once was. And still he persisted, turning out some of the greatest photographic and ethnological work ever done. Egan has found yet another great subject, and has crafted yet another great narrative around it." S.C. Gwynne, author of Empire of the Summer Moon

Review:

"Edward Curtis's hauntingly beautiful photographs have graced gallery walls and coffee tables for generations

Review:

"Ace popular historian Egan makes Curtis' story frequently suspenseful, always gripping, and monumentally heroic." Booklist, starred review

Review:

"[Short Nights] mesmerizes — it's instructive, entertaining and a joy to read....When it comes to superlative historical writing, this is as good as it gets....Dazzling." Shelf Awareness

Review:

"A vivid exploration of one man's lifelong obsession with an idea....Egan's spirited biography might just bring [Curtis] the recognition that eluded him in life." Washington Post

Review:

"A darn good yarn. Egan is a muscular storyteller and his book is a rollicking page-turner with a colorfully drawn hero." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"An astonishing story, worth knowing and well told." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"Egan fills his chronicle with bright turns of phrase and radiant descriptions, making both places and people come alive....A sweeping tale about two vanishing ways of life." Wall Street Journal

Review:

"Egan writes this fascinating biography with a compelling and occasionally creative narrative that challenges the age-old ratio of a picture's worth to a thousand words. Egan somehow makes both more valuable." USA Today

Review:

"[Egan] artfully frames a stunning portrait of Edward Curtis that captures every patina of his glory, brilliance, and pathos. [Egan] writes with passion and grace." Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"The author gracefully transforms the past into vivid scenes that employ all five senses." Star Tribune

Review:

"Egan brings liveliness and a wealth of detail to his biography of the legendary American photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis...a riveting biography of an American original." Boston Globe

Review:

"Insightful and entertaining...Egan's excellent book stands as a fitting tribute to an American original who fought for a people with his camera and his art." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"[A] captivating tribute to a treasured American and the treasures he created." Dallas Morning News

Review:

"Lucent prose illuminates a man obscured for years in history's shadows." Kirkus, starred review

Synopsis:

The story of Edward Curtis, a charming rogue with a grade school education who became the Annie Leibovitz of his time, and the creation of his masterwork, a photographic record of the entire North American Indian nation — a project that cost him his celebrity, his prosperity, and ultimately his life, but transformed Native history for the modern era when it was rediscovered in a Boston basement in the 1970s.

Synopsis:

How a lone mans epic obsession led to one of Americas greatest cultural treasures: Prize-winning writer Timothy Egan tells the riveting, cinematic story behind the most famous photographs in Native American history — and the driven, brilliant man who made them.

Synopsis:

Edward Curtis was dashing, charismatic, a passionate mountaineer, a famous photographer — the Annie Leibovitz of his time. And he was thirty-two years old in 1900 when he gave it all up to pursue his great idea: He would try to capture on film the Native American nation before it disappeared. At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, Egans book tells the remarkable untold story behind Curtis's iconic photographs, following him throughout Indian country from desert to rainforest as he struggled to document the stories and rituals of more than eighty tribes. Even with the backing of Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan, it took tremendous perseverance — six years alone to convince the Hopi to allow him into their Snake Dance ceremony. The undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. He would die penniless and unknown in Hollywood just a few years after publishing the last of his twenty volumes. But the charming rogue with the grade-school education had fulfilled his promise — his great adventure succeeded in creating one of America's most stunning cultural achievements.

About the Author

Timothy Egan is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and the author of six books, most recently The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Washington State Book Award. His previous books include The Worst Hard Time, which won a National Book Award and was named a New York Times Editors Choice. He is an online op-ed columnist for the New York Times, writing his "Opinionator" feature once a week. He is a third-generation Westerner and lives in Seattle.

Table of Contents

First Picture 1

Encounter on a Volcano 23

The Big Idea 41

Indian Napoleon 61

With the President 81

In the Den of the Titan 105

Anglos in Indian Country 121

The Artist and His Audience 137

The Custer Conundrum 159

The Most Remarkable Man 179

On the River of the West 193

New Art Forms 207

Moving Pictures 229

Lost Days 245

Second Wind 259

The Longest Days 279

Fight to the Finish 291

Twilight 301

Epilogue: Revival 317

Acknowledgments 327

Sources 331

Photo Credits 351

Index 353

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 8 comments:

HistoryWriter, February 4, 2013 (view all comments by HistoryWriter)
There are several stories woven into one great book. First is the young celebrity photographer, Edward Curtis, who becomes obsessed with a project to document all of the western tribes of native Americans before they are gone. After spending over two decades spending months at a time living in the field in pursuit of knowing his subjects and getting thousands of photographs, he finally completes his masterpiece. However the twenty volume set is so expensive that they are produced in limited quantities and only acquired by a few libraries and universities, and the occasional wealthy patron. Curtis was not paid for his work. He was actually ruined by the project. The price to Curtis for his obsession was the loss of his family, his business, and his reputation in his social class that was so important to upper class people in that era. The other stories brought to light in the book concern America's treatment of the native Americans (more palatable than "Bury My Heart), and a good review of the social customs and attitudes of the rich during the early part of the twentieth century.

I enjoy Egan's writing style. The book moves along at a pace that will keep your interest. I had not known a great deal about Edward Curtis, but I appreciated learning about his work that I now recognize in many books about native Americans and early works on outdoor subjects. I do look at the story of Edward Curtis' life as a cautionary tale, well told by Timothy Egan. Excellent read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
tamaflip, January 6, 2013 (view all comments by tamaflip)
I'm sadly deficient is Native American history, but that did not detract even an ounce from the wonderfulness of Egan's latest book. I could not put it down--I do not say that lightly. It's one of the best books I've read in the past 5 years.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
catfish, January 5, 2013 (view all comments by catfish)
A fascinating look at the life of photographer Edward Curtis and his quest to capture the vanishing way of life of the American Indian at the turn of the century. The book captures the essence of Curtis's photographs-- his treatment of the American Indian and their disappearing culture with respect,honesty,empathy and great beauty --- and his desire to capture these images for all time.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 8 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780618969029
Subtitle:
The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis
Author:
Egan, Timothy
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
US History-General
Subject:
Biography-Artists Architects and Photographers
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20121009
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
A." -- <I>Entertainment Weekly </I><P></P></DIV></
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 9.99 lb

Other books you might like

  1. Dark Currents (Agent of Hel #1)
    New Hardcover $26.95
  2. Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories
    Sale Trade Paper $8.98

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Photography » General
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Photographers
Arts and Entertainment » Sale Books
Biography » Artists, Architects, and Photographers
Biography » General
Featured Titles » Arts
Featured Titles » Bestsellers
Featured Titles » Biography
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » New Arrivals
Featured Titles » Staff Favorites
History and Social Science » Native American » General Native American Studies
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Featured Titles
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sale Books
History and Social Science » US History » General

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.50 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - English 9780618969029 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Egan (The Worst Hard Time) turns his attention to one of Seattle's most remarkable — yet all but forgotten — residents. In the late 19th century, Edward Curtis was the era's reigning portrait photographer, so well respected that President Theodore Roosevelt chose him to photograph his daughter's wedding. Yet in 1900, at the height of his fame, Curtis gave it up to pursue what would become his life's work — 'a plan to photograph all the intact Native American tribes left in North America' before their ways of life disappeared. This idea received the backing of J.P. Morgan and culminated in a critically acclaimed 20-volume set, The North American Indian, which took Curtis 30 years to complete and left him divorced and destitute. Unfailingly sympathetic to his subject, Egan shadows Curtis as he travels from Roosevelt's summer home at Sagamore Hill to the mesas and canyons of the Southwest tribes and to the rain forests of the Coastal Indians and the isolated tundra on Nunivak Island. Egan portrays the dwindling tribes, their sacred rites (such as the Hopi snake dance), customs, and daily lives, and captures a larger-than-life cast. With a reporter's eye for detail, Egan delivers a gracefully written biography and adventure story. Agent: Carol Mann, Carol Mann Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "In this hauntingly beautiful book, Egan brings Curtis to life as vividly and with as much depth, heart and understanding as Curtis himself put into his timeless portraits. This is a story for the ages."
"Review" by , "Short Nights is not only the marvelous and rollicking account of life of one of America's extraordinary photographers. It is also a book about the extreme personal cost of outsized ambition. Edward Curtis undertook one of the most epic cultural projects in American history — photographing and documenting the vanishing ways of life of some eighty American Indian tribes. It cost him almost everything he once was. And still he persisted, turning out some of the greatest photographic and ethnological work ever done. Egan has found yet another great subject, and has crafted yet another great narrative around it."
"Review" by , "Edward Curtis's hauntingly beautiful photographs have graced gallery walls and coffee tables for generations
"Review" by , "Ace popular historian Egan makes Curtis' story frequently suspenseful, always gripping, and monumentally heroic."
"Review" by , "[Short Nights] mesmerizes — it's instructive, entertaining and a joy to read....When it comes to superlative historical writing, this is as good as it gets....Dazzling."
"Review" by , "A vivid exploration of one man's lifelong obsession with an idea....Egan's spirited biography might just bring [Curtis] the recognition that eluded him in life."
"Review" by , "A darn good yarn. Egan is a muscular storyteller and his book is a rollicking page-turner with a colorfully drawn hero."
"Review" by , "An astonishing story, worth knowing and well told."
"Review" by , "Egan fills his chronicle with bright turns of phrase and radiant descriptions, making both places and people come alive....A sweeping tale about two vanishing ways of life."
"Review" by , "Egan writes this fascinating biography with a compelling and occasionally creative narrative that challenges the age-old ratio of a picture's worth to a thousand words. Egan somehow makes both more valuable."
"Review" by , "[Egan] artfully frames a stunning portrait of Edward Curtis that captures every patina of his glory, brilliance, and pathos. [Egan] writes with passion and grace."
"Review" by , "The author gracefully transforms the past into vivid scenes that employ all five senses."
"Review" by , "Egan brings liveliness and a wealth of detail to his biography of the legendary American photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis...a riveting biography of an American original."
"Review" by , "Insightful and entertaining...Egan's excellent book stands as a fitting tribute to an American original who fought for a people with his camera and his art."
"Review" by , "[A] captivating tribute to a treasured American and the treasures he created."
"Review" by , "Lucent prose illuminates a man obscured for years in history's shadows."
"Synopsis" by , The story of Edward Curtis, a charming rogue with a grade school education who became the Annie Leibovitz of his time, and the creation of his masterwork, a photographic record of the entire North American Indian nation — a project that cost him his celebrity, his prosperity, and ultimately his life, but transformed Native history for the modern era when it was rediscovered in a Boston basement in the 1970s.
"Synopsis" by , How a lone mans epic obsession led to one of Americas greatest cultural treasures: Prize-winning writer Timothy Egan tells the riveting, cinematic story behind the most famous photographs in Native American history — and the driven, brilliant man who made them.
"Synopsis" by , Edward Curtis was dashing, charismatic, a passionate mountaineer, a famous photographer — the Annie Leibovitz of his time. And he was thirty-two years old in 1900 when he gave it all up to pursue his great idea: He would try to capture on film the Native American nation before it disappeared. At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, Egans book tells the remarkable untold story behind Curtis's iconic photographs, following him throughout Indian country from desert to rainforest as he struggled to document the stories and rituals of more than eighty tribes. Even with the backing of Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan, it took tremendous perseverance — six years alone to convince the Hopi to allow him into their Snake Dance ceremony. The undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. He would die penniless and unknown in Hollywood just a few years after publishing the last of his twenty volumes. But the charming rogue with the grade-school education had fulfilled his promise — his great adventure succeeded in creating one of America's most stunning cultural achievements.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.