MAGAZINES THAT MAKE HISTORY

Norberto Angeletti, Author, Alberto Oliva, Author . Univ. Press of Florida $45 (407p) ISBN 978-0-8130-2766-1

In this lavish volume, Angeletti and Oliva discuss and dissect eight magazines they consider to be among the most successful in the Western world: Time , Der Spiegel , Life , Paris Match , National Geographic , Reader's Digest , ¡Hola! and People . They examine their beginnings, evolutions and broader impacts, delivering what's essentially the textual equivalent of a museum exhibit on the history of the 20th-century general-audience periodical. Leafing through the book (and flipping backward as often as forward) is like wandering through an imaginative and well-curated show. Each magazine receives the same treatment in its respective chapter: conception, launch, development and redesign. The authors detail the why and how of each journal's distinctive characteristics—Time 's house editorial style, Der Spiegel 's exposé, National Geographic 's photos—and thoroughly examine business decisions and practices that occasionally landed these magazines and their editors in the news themselves. The authors, who've both worked at Editorial Atlantida , an Argentinian newspaper, are steeped in the Spanish-speaking world of newspapers and magazines, and they evenhandedly discuss the role of public service newswriting as well as tabloid-era pseudo-journalistic practices. The layout balances between images and text fairly evenly. Neither coffee-table book nor exactly a textbook, the work may only appeal to magazine industry insiders, but it is handsome and appealing, with a second volume, focusing on other publications, in the works. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/27/2004
Release date: 07/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
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