Thursday, February 15, 2018

Book Review: 'George Eastman' by Lynda Pflueger

Lynda Pflueger probably didn't realize how propitious her timing was when she released her excellent history book on Thomas Nast. The `Je suis Charlie' tragedy is about freed speech in the way that cartoonists can present it, and she offered the biography of one of the more important cartoonists of history. Lynda Pflueger is a history buff, particularly US history. She loves visiting museums and libraries. Nothing pleases her more than roaming around dusty old archives and finding diaries, letters, newspaper articles or photographs she can use in her books.

Lynda specializes in history books and this one on George Eastman is one of her best. Writing about a famous photographer inventor she includes just enough photographs and drawings of cameras to illuminate the excellent biography.

To borrow form her synopsis, ‘While history books consider George Eastman to be the father of photography, most people are unaware that his contributions to the world extended far beyond his multimillion-dollar company, Eastman Kodak. A banker by trade, his determination to improve and simplify his weekend hobby led to discovering cutting-edge photographic technology and the birth of his own business. A shrewd and principled businessman, he was a pioneer in customer service, employee relations, and worldwide product distribution. A generous philanthropist, his donations helped build universities, improve healthcare, and advance scientific research. His fascinating journey is deftly chronicled in George Eastman: Bringing Photography to the People, where readers will be inspired by a man whose invention and passion improved the lives of millions of people and the pictures they took.’

The genius, the man, the gift and the humanity are all spelled out here. This is a very fine book that deserves a wide audience among those who include photography as one of their passions. Grady Harp, February 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.