I felt rather guilty this Monday just passed, in opening this week’s online stories with a thoroughly pessimistic piece on the increasingly unnerving North Korea situation (apologies readers), so I thought today we ought to take a moment to channel some positivity.
Said positivity is inspired by the news that Taschen has announced the release of a pair of superb new coffee table books, National Geographic: Around the World in 125 Years, one of which focuses on Europe and the other on Asia & Oceania. As you might be able to tell from their titles, each is a stirring compilation of over 250 of the best National Geographic photographs from the past one-and-a-quarter centuries, since the magazine’s founding in 1888.
Both books were compiled by Reuel Golden, former editor of the British Journal of Photography and combine a diverse range of materials from black-and-white pictures to autochromes, Kodachromes and cutting-edge digital photography. Each collection is drawn entirely from the National Geographic archive and many pictures haven’t been published before.
In travelling across countries and continents, both works take the reader through the history of National Geographic itself, tracing its evolution from a title that sought to present an idealised vision of foreign climes for armchair travellers, to its more recent role in raising international awareness of growing humanitarian and environmental issues.
Each book is beautifully produced and thoroughly transportive – if you’ve always wanted to wander through the streets of the Lost City of Petra, or stand at the foot of the Taj Mahal – these will take you there.
Each is £49.99 and available to pre-order now, ahead of a November release, taschen.com