eReview: Witness To An Era: The Life and Photographs of Alexander Gardner
by D. Mark Katz Hardcover / Publisher: Rutledge Hill Press / ISBN: 1558537422
Review by Alethea Sayers
Seldom does one get such a close-up glimpse at the true horrors and tragedies on the battlefields of the American Civil War, or to stare into the faces of those whose lives were entertwined with the making of America's history. But D. Mark Katz gives us that opportunity with Witness To An Era: The Life and Photographs of Alexander Gardner, published by Rutledge Hill Press. Though many of the images that have become instantly recognizable to students of history are often credited to the well known photographer, Matthew Brady, Witness To An Era sets the record straight with meticulously documented research, enabling future generations to appreciate Gardner's work. For the first time in print, Katz brings the reader not only the vast collection of Gardner's photographs, many of which he was able to reproduce directly from the original prints, but the intriguing story of Gardner himself and his eventful career during and after the Civil War.
As one of the most photographed of historical figures as President Abraham Lincoln was, none managed to capture the inner man as Gardner did. But with over 277 pages containing photos of people, places, illustrations and letters, it is difficult for one to say which is the most extraordinary in capturing a moment --a moment frozen in time for eternity, for those to gaze upon and ponder its significance in how we became to be today... from what was yesterday.
Booklist remarks, "This album of Gardner's work is nothing less than sensational," and Civil War Web agrees. No Civil War library would be complete without these magnificent photographs of America's most epic saga.
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