cover image AMAZING MEN


Joyce Tenneson, Author . Bulfinch $40 (127p) ISBN 978-0-8212-2

This black-and-white collection of photographs of 60-and-over men follows Tenneson's collection of similar photographs of older women (Wise Women ). Obviously intended as a full-on celebration of older manhood, the subjects range from actors (Ben Kingsley, James Earl Jones, Bill Cosby and Patrick Stewart), politicians (John Kerry and Rudolph Giuliani), journalists (Tom Brokaw), writers (Frank McCourt), artists (Andrew Wyeth) and musicians (B.B. King, Willie Nelson) to more ordinary folk, many of whose professions aren't even identified. Many of the 90 photographs are absolutely luminous, with the subject's skin seeming to glow from the inside out, giving the impression that the photographer is indeed starstruck by her subjects. Each photo is accompanied by a brief motivational quote from the subject, but unfortunately no biographical information, other than the age, is included with each man, going against the book's intention to commemorate long, interesting lives. Rather, each man becomes only a pretty face, and one can't help questioning, why, out of all of the 60- to 80-year-olds out there, did Tenneson choose these men and not others? Why Ben Kingsley and not Mickey Rooney? Why Joe Torre and not Yogi Berra? The 7 ½" x 10" collection is small enough that some sort of explanation beyond Tenneson's introduction ("my assistants did Internet research to help me find men like Archbishop Demetrios and men from the Polar Bear Club") would have been welcome. (May 11)