Author(s): Bruce Bernard
Before even opening this award-winning book, you are struck by the sheer physical presence of Century. With 1,224 pages and 1,090 images, this colossal volume offers an informative, intimate and incisive insight into the twentieth century from the very beginning to the very end. Century is an extensive historical trajectory through the twentieth century, told through an eclectic yet exhaustive sequence of monumental photographic images. More than any other before it, the twentieth century was one of unforeseeable advances, discoveries and victories as well as unanticipated atrocities and suffering. It was also the first century to have been documented entirely through the lens of the camera. The chronological journey of Century - in a visually extraordinary sequence of images - takes us from the end of Queen Victoria's reign, through the antics of Buster Keaton and the odyssey into outer space, to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the news of September 11. Assimilated from diverse sources across the world, the photographs are instantly arresting and tirelessly thought-provoking.
Selected for their capacity to expose distinctly human stories with the dynamism that drives historical change, the tome combines iconic images with photographs previously unseen, from international political events to highly personal and anonymous vignettes. Each photograph is substantiated by a brief but thorough historical explanation; every single scene is brought to life by evocative literary and political quotations. Century is as much an historical tour de force as it is an enlightening visual celebration of the past from a vast range of angles.
Bruce Bernard's publications include "Photodiscovery", "Vincent by Himself" and "Lucien Freud"
"a tremendous picture of history happening to the ordinary people of the world." The Bookseller "an intelligent and exciting collection of images which deserves to do well" The Bookseller "Containing over 1, 100 pages of photo-journalism, Century, is a good reason to reinforce your coffee table. Veteran picture editor Bruce Bernard had the unenviable task of selecting pivotal images from the past 100 years of politics and culture. The resulting collection reads like a bumper novel, wisely interweaving the small and obscure with the vast and iconic. - Split into six chronological sections, the final chapter is bang up-to-date, closing with an infra-red scan of lorry-herded Kosovan refugees. - " i-D "A book called Century, published later this month, must be the heaviest I have ever held. It weights more than 13lb - 6kg if you prefer; it contains in its 1, 120 pages more than 1, 000 photographs; it purports to tell the story of the world over the last 100 years through pictures. - The fact that it succeeds as a comprehensive but also surprising visual record - for every half-familiar photograph in it, there are 50 unfamiliar, all of them striking and illuminating - owes everything to the man who had the idea and who found and chose the pictures, Bruce Bernard. By way of an old-fashioned and often unrewarded virtue, that of knowing and loving his subject, Bernard has made a wonderful book, and also, at GBP29.95, a bargain one. " The Independent
Bruce Bernard was a picture editor for over thirty years. He started in visual journalism for a part-work publication of Purnell's History of the Twentieth Century, of which he was Picture Editor between 1967 and 1970. He was Picture Editor of the Sunday Times Magazine from 1972 to 1980 and visual arts editor of the Saturday Independent Magazine for its first four years between 1988 and 1992. In 1996 he curated the exhibition 'All Human Life' at the Barbican Centre. He also curated a private collection for James Moores. His publications include Photodiscovery (Abrams, New York) or The Sunday Times Book of Photodiscovery (Thames & Hudson, London, 1980); Vincent by Himself (Orbis Publishing Ltd, London, 1985) and Lucien Freud (edit.) (Jonathan Cape, 1996). Century is the culmination of 30 years' experience. Bruce Bernard died in March 2000.