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Peace: The Biography of a Symbol
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Peace: The Biography of a Symbol

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  51 ratings  ·  13 reviews
As the boomer generation moves onward through the milestones of life, 1960s nostalgia holds tremendous meaning today. And nothing more eloquently symbolizes the counterculture era than the peace sign. How did this simple sketch become so powerful an image? Peace: The Biography of a Symbol tells the surprising story of the sign in words and pictures, from its origins in the ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by National Geographic
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When I was in high school, my church's youth group leader told us that the peace sign was anti-Christian because it symbolizes the broken arms of the cross. At the time I was dubious that was even true, and unconvinced that it would be a horrible thing even if it were. Couldn't it have been an expression of sadness at the state of the world, sort of What Would Jesus Think? It is, of course, nonsense in any event, but nonsense that's been around for a long time.

Really, the book is at least as muc
Nicoletta Barrie
PEACE takes us through five decades, and it does so using an exciting colorful and busy design with pictures old and new. Sidebars include Flashbacks that give examples of what was going on globally in a specific year and profiles of Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Peter Max and John Lennon. In addition to images of peace marches and other historical events are peace symbols in all shapes, sizes and materials on anything from Valentine candy to people’s faces to writing in the sky. The text ties the pea ...more
I thought the concept behind this book was very interesting, and the documentation was well done, but I didn't care for the design of the book as it was laid out in a way that made reading certain sections difficult. I liked how Kolsbun followed the evolution of the peace sign across the decades, and provided "snapshots" of important people or events during those years. Even though I gave the book a low rating, I would still suggest teens read it if they are interested because it presents a lot ...more
Lisa Vegan
I knew nothing about the origins and history of the peace symbol. This information is interspersed with some general history facts for between 1958 (the year the peace symbol was created) and 2008 (the current year, 50 years later.) I found it very interesting. It really brought me back to the 1960s and other eras too. It’s a spare little book with a lot of photos and peace symbol art, but it is jam packed with information; it is not really a coffee table type book as I anticipated it might be.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of the peace symbol. (ND, not broken cross.) Various myths have propagated as to its origins, but this book has the definitive answer, as well as many heretofore little seen photos of the peace sign in counter- and popular culture. This book would also do as a light introduction to the history of the peace movement. It's definitely worth a look if only for the photos, and a quick scan for peace factoids.
May 14, 2008 Karen is currently reading it
Just glanced through it so far but it looks good. I have so many books going at the moment but plan to read it soon. Last Sunday I went to hear the author talk about his book. It was very fascinating and fun to hear the history of the peace symbol. I hadn't realized that it was 50 years old this year and what the original meaning was. If you have the chance to go to one of his readings, I recommend going.
Jun 01, 2008 J rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: pop culture devotee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A nice, quick look at the history of the peace symbol. There were some fascinating historical anecdotes, but there were occasionally some layout issues that made some pages hard/annoying to read.
Not what I was expecting at first, but a nice introduction to the anti-nuclear movement and the creation and use of the peace symbol in the 20th century.
There wasn't much in the narrative that I didn't already know, but graphically it does the era justice and then some. A good primer for an important subject.
This book was really enjoyable read with its bright, colorful pictures and a lot of interesting and new info I didn't know about the peace symbol.
Jeff Brailey
An entertaining and informative read and a good history of the peace symbol.
Great photos. Lots of interesting history. A quick and easy read.
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