Cover Image: Look


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Member Reviews

by Andrew Yarrow 
Pub Date: November 1, 2021 
Potomac Books 

Thanks to NetGalley and Potomac Books for the ARC of this book.  Because the magazine shaped Americans’ beliefs while guiding the country through a period of profound social and cultural change, this is also a story about how a long-gone form of journalism helped make America better and assured readers it could be better still.
I really enjoyed reading this book. Yarrow describes how the magazine covered the United States and the world, telling stories of people and trends, injustices and triumphs, and included essays by prominent Americans such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Margaret Mead. It did not shy away from exposing the country’s problems, but it always believed that those problems could be solved.
Our library will be purchasing this book and I highly recommend it.
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Look by Andrew L. Yarrow is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late October.

I've become familiarized with the magazine while watching movies from the 1950s & 1960s when characters pick up a big, portfolio-sized Look to page and peruse through, which makes sense, since it was, at one time, as popular as Life magazine. In kind, Yarrow tells of its history, guiding objectives/principles, and the lives of its staff, as being a big voice in sociocultural commentary, civil rights, global governments, and advancement of technology.
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This was a fantastic detailed book about one of the iconic magazines. I enjoyed the descriptions and learning so much about behind the scenes. This is a must read for anyone who enjoys history, magazines and culture.
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I thoroughly enjoyed diving into this incredible and incredibly fascinating snippet of time. Look by Andrew L. Yarrow is like falling backwards into the past, from the carefully curated photographs to the stories scattered throughout the pages, I absolutely loved it.
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Whenever I stop at a flea market or antique mall, I soon find myself losing track of time in the old magazines, looking at vintage ads, seeing what people were concerned about, what they were wearing, how the magazines were designed, and so on. I faintly remember the last years of Look Magazine, and its rival, Life Magazine. They were among the "general interest" magazines of mid-century America, containing news, entertainment, humor, and lots of colorful photographs.

Journalist Andrew Yarrow has done a biography of the magazine, telling how it came about in 1937 and lasted until 1971, the whole time under the same founder and publisher, Mike Cowles. Yarrow describes the types of articles and features the magazine contained, and there are many photographs of covers and photographs. I read the book on my laptop, and I recommend to anyone who is thinking of reading the book to get the hardcover, because I am sure that the photo spreads will be much more rewarding in that format rather than digitally.

In addition to the business side of the magazine and its content, Yarrow scatters some fun gossip throughout, including the story of how Cowles's wife alienated everyone at the magazine, started her own magazine, at great expense, and watched it flame out after only thirteen issues.

Yarrow ends the book by observing that Look Magazine was a part of an America that was less divided than it is today, a country that had differences but at least agreed on some basics. I found this rather wistful, because it seemed to hinge on the curators of these basics all being of the same group, that is, white men with college degrees: Cowles, all the presidents, most of the Congress, the men reading and editing the TV news, the newspapers, radio, and magazines. If we all seemed to agree on what was important, it was because people outside that group were not calling the shots and silently (and later not so silently) watching from the sidelines.

Regardless of Yarrow's hope for a national conversation that is evidently never going to happen, Look: How a Highly Influential Magazine Helped Define Mid-Twentieth-Century America is a fun, fascinating, and colorful look at a moment in American history that paradoxically, used to be, and never was.

Thanks to NetGalley and Potomac Books for a digital review copy.
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Look Magazine was so well written great articles fantastic photographs,I really enjoyed reading about this magazine it’s place in American history truly an American snapshot of a time a place.I found this a really informative interesting look back at this magazine.Will be recommending.#netgalley #loo
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I still collect all the editions of Look magazine.  It was forward thinking stylish in the photography was beautiful. This book is very informative about what really worked about the magazine and what was nostalgic about it.  I definitely recommend this.
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