I was recently invited to review Stephen Evans’s book Orlando: Then and Now (see my disclaimer on vendor invitations here).
This book is part of Thunderbay Press’s Then and Now series, covering a huge number of cities including Charleston, Savannah, Chicago, Rome, Havana, Berlin, and Pittsburgh, just to name a few. The idea is to showcase local history through photography. On the left pages you’ll find a picture from yesteryear (the late 1800s to early 1900s in Orlando’s case); on the right, a current photo taken in roughly the same location, with some identifying and “of interest” information below each photo. Most of the older photographs are in black and white, of course, but the newer images are full of color.
What I Liked
Because it was published in 2007, some of the “now” photos are already old, so to speak. Instead of looking at the photos as outdated, I chose to look at it as showing how quickly the Orlando landscape changes. The most obvious example, of course, is the area where the Arena now stands, but think of how much Church Street and the downtown cityscape have changed in just the past 5 years.
What Could be Improved
I’m all for learning about Orlando history, but at its heart, Then and Now is a beautiful coffee table book. So I was disappointed to realize that none of the pictures has captions, so you have to read through the blurbs under each one to ascertain the year of the photo and its exact location (to be fair, the headers on each page sort of do that, but they aren’t consistent).
The takeaway: If you’re a history lover, an Orlando enthusiast, or a Disney buff (there aren’t a lot of Disney photos, but they’re pretty nifty and the accompanying blurbs have good information), you’ll want this book. It retails for $19.95, but if you’re the winner of RH’s July Giveaway, this book can be yours free of charge!
How do you enter? Simple:
- Subscribe to RH updates via e-mail (if you’re already a subscriber, tell me so in the comments);
- Re-tweet this on Twitter: RT @randomhangers Orlando: Then & Now makes a great coffee table book. Visit randomhangers.com to learn how to win a copy!
- Drop a comment below and tell me why you’d like this book to have as your very own;
- E-mail me and let me know you’d like to be entered.
The winner will be randomly selected and announced on July 13, 2011. Good luck!