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New York Noir: Crime Photos from the Daily News Archive

Hannigan, William J.

ISBN 10: 0847821722 / ISBN 13: 9780847821723
Published by Rizzoli, 1999
Used Condition: As New Hardcover
From True North Books (Coeur d'Alene, ID, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: New York Noir: Crime Photos from the Daily ...

Publisher: Rizzoli

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:As New

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Some of the century's most recognizable criminals and their dirty work are featured in this collection of more than 130 images culled from the Daily News photo vaults.

Review:

When Ruth Snyder was electrocuted at Sing Sing Prison in 1928, New York Daily News photographer Tom Howard was there--with a miniature camera he'd hidden under the cuff of his pants. The resulting snapshot made the front page the next morning (under the headline "DEAD!") and provoked fierce controversy among those wondering if tabloid journalism had finally gone too far. But, as Luc Sante points out in his introduction to New York Noir, a selection of pictures from the Daily News archives, the tabloids "retailed exclamation points"--Snyder in the electric chair was merely an extreme example of imagery that was a regular staple of the paper's coverage.

Many of the photos in New York Noir are not for the squeamish: corpses in the street or slumped in their car seats appear regularly, as do battered and bloodied criminals and suspects. But the power of these stark images is unmistakable--they are, as the book's title indicates, the raw material for the gritty vision of urban life that film noir popularized. For some people, tabloid crime photos are synonymous with Arthur "Weegee" Fellig; only one of his pictures graces these pages, however, and the other photographers represented here (many identified only by last name or no name at all) demonstrate that his reputation relies as much on promotional hustle as on artistic merit. Whenever possible, archivist William Hannigan supplies background information on the people and incidents in the pictures--but it is the images themselves, rather than the stories, that will stick in the reader's mind. --Ron Hogan

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