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Picture Perfect:
Life in the Age of the Photo Op
New Edition
Kiku Adatto

Paperback | 2008 | $26.95 | £21.95 | ISBN: 9780691124407
304 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4
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eBook | ISBN: 9781400824557 |
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We say the camera doesn't lie, but we also know that pictures distort and deceive. In Picture Perfect, Kiku Adatto brilliantly examines the use and abuse of images today. Ranging from family albums to Facebook, political campaigns to popular movies, images of war to pictures of protest. Adatto reveals how the line between the person and the pose, the real and the fake, news and entertainment is increasingly blurred. New technologies make it easier than ever to capture, manipulate, and spread images. But even in the age of the Internet, we still seek authentic pictures and believe in the camera's promise to document, witness, and interpret our lives.


"In this engrossing analysis of modern imagery, Adatto chronicles the rise of America's 'photo-op culture' and the explosion of social networking sites, image-conscious photography and the guerilla war between gaffe-seeking journalists and self-aware politicians. This book is an admirable analysis of the role of the image in modern culture and an eloquent defense of why words still matter."--Publishers Weekly

"[A] lively exploration of our picture-dominated media. . . . We are living in an image-controlled world where reality and artifice have merged and we are all conspiring in our own deception."--Sally Feldman, Times Higher Education

"[A] lucid and original book on the 'new image consciousness in American culture.' Drawing on television, photography and cinema, [Adatto] dissects several curious ironies related to image-making. Not least is the love-hate relationship that has characterized the visual era from its infancy."--Carl Session Stepp, American Journalism Review

"Picture Perfect shows how television's obsession with pictures is part of a much larger problem--modern American culture's fascination with images, real and manufactured."--Bob Schieffer, CBS News, Washington Monthly

"[S]uperb analysis. . . . [N]etwork news has increasingly treated presidential campaigns as artifice and, by doing so, has made them more artificial."--James Q. Wilson, New Republic

"[Adatto] jolted the media establishment by . . . documenting the 'shrinking sound bite'. . . . The most damaging paradox of modern political coverage, she argues, is that TV reporters and producers, having inflated politicians to posed perfection, are then irresistibly tempted to magnify their every flaw and 'puncture the picture.' "--Pamela Constable, Boston Globe


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Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments ix
INTRODUCTION: The Age of the Photo Op 1
CHAPTER 1: Picture Perfect 41
CHAPTER 2: Photo-Op Politics 67
CHAPTER 3: Contesting Control of the Picture 106
CHAPTER 4: Exposed Images 141
CHAPTER 5: Mythic Pictures and Movie Heroes 187
CHAPTER 6: The Person and the Pose 243
Notes 263
Index 279

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