Material World

By Peter Menzel,

Book cover of Material World: A Global Family Portrait

Book description

Called “Fascinating! An incredible book” by Oprah Winfrey, this beloved photography collection vividly portrays the look and feel of the human condition everywhere on Earth.

In an unprecedented effort, sixteen of the world’s foremost photographers traveled to thirty nations around the globe to live for a week with families that…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Material World as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Global socioeconomic diversity is an important yet abstract concept, but this book offers tangible evidence.

Household material wealth varies significantly worldwide in both quantity and quality. To reveal this diverse range, sixteen photographers visited thirty countries and lived briefly with families considered statistically average for their nation.

In the book, each family stands before their abode with all their household possessions. Suffice it to say that contrasts abound.

From Blaine's list on the world of materials.

Never was the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” more true than in this photographic journey around the world. Menzel and his team traveled to 30 countries, found a family in each location willing to move the entire contents of their home from inside to front yard and then photographed family, contents, and dwelling. From a mud hut in Mali to a luxurious dwelling in Kuwait, Menzel’s photos are always informative, never lackadaisical, and sometimes heart-wrenching. Points to ponder: The most valued possession for the Bosnian family featured in the book is listed as a lamp.

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