I’ve read three or four books by Steven Heller so far, and for me this one has been the most gripping. He interviews a broad spectrum of characters, from ad men to environment designers to collectors of design artifacts. The interview with Stewart Ewan on the history and ethics of PR and the story of Morris Wyszogrod’s time in a concentration camp are provocative highlights. Ralph Ginzburg’s tale of his imprisonment for obscenity is also an amazing story, especially having seen an issue of the ‘offending’ magazine, which is less obscene than most Axe Body Spray commercials.
My only complaint with this book, which I’ve had with all of Heller’s books, is the lack of information about the images that introduce each chapter. In some cases, they are discussed in the interview, or it’s obvious what you’re looking at, but in many cases not, and it’s extremely frustrating. No credits, title, or any clue where one might find more information. However, in this case it doesn’t detract from the effectiveness of these interviews. Definitely worth reading.
A version of this review was originally posted on Amazon.com
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