River of Shadows

Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West

Rebecca Solnit - Author

Paperback | $18.00 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9780142004104 | 320 pages | 02 Mar 2004 | Penguin | 5.55 x 8.34in | 18 - AND UP
Additional Formats:
  • National Book Critics Circle Award
    Mark Lynton History Prize
    Spur Award
    Commonwealth Club Book Award: Gold Medal
Summary of River of Shadows Summary of River of Shadows Reviews for River of Shadows An Excerpt from River of Shadows

"Solnit's best book so far" (Chicago Tribune)—a boldly original portrait of the proto-inventor of motion pictures

The world as we know it today began in California in the late 1800s, and Eadweard Muybridge had a lot to do with it. This striking assertion is at the heart of Rebecca Solnit’s new book, which weaves together biography, history, and fascinating insights into art and technology to create a boldly original portrait of America on the threshold of modernity. The story of Muybridge—who in 1872 succeeded in capturing high-speed motion photographically—becomes a lens for a larger story about the acceleration and industrialization of everyday life. 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 contemporary society.

River of Shadows The Annihilation of Time and Space
The Man with the Cloudy Skies
Lessons of the Golden Spike
Standing on the Brink
Lost River
A Day in the Life, Two Deaths, More Photographs
Skinning the City
Stopping Time
The Artist in Motion and at Rest
From the Center of the World to the Final Frontier

Photograph Credits
“One finds it hard to remember what things looked like before this book appeared in the world.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“The imagery of a poet, the ideas of a theoretician, the rhythm of a thoroughbred and the force of a Southern Pacific locomotive.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

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