Images of Political Icons. Leaders of the Twentieth Century
More than any preceding era, the twentieth century was defined by images. The widespread adoption of photography, the advent of film, and the increasing speed and ease of communications enabled people worldwide for the first time to know the faces of world leaders as intimately as those of their friends and family. The jutting jaw and jaunty cigarette holder of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Fidel Castro’s raised fist and bearded countenance, Tony Blair’s toothy smile, and Stalin’s bristly frown—these and other iconographic images immediately conjure up unforgettable, dramatic moments in history.
Opening with the end of Queen Victoria’s reign and continuing through the end of the cold war, Postcards of Political Icons tells the story of the twentieth century through images of its most recognizable leaders. The politicians who presided over the demise of colonialism, led the communist revolution, and fought two world wars are presented on these postcards in unusual–and often surprisingly personal—moments. Nelson Mandela is captured in a moment of privacy, looking dreamily into the distance; Yasser Arafat wrestles with chopsticks; while Benito Mussolini, known for his public performances, masters a new curious posture.
Reproducing many rare and little-seen images, Postcards of Political Icons offers a fascinating glimpse at the iconography of political power—and the reality of the people behind it.