Book Review and Recommendation: Fearless Genius

Fearless Genius

I bought a book recently that combines my love of editorial photography with my interest in the tech business. Photographer Doug Menuez had unprecedented access to the titans of Silicon Valley. In this book, “Fearless Genius The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley 1985-2000” you get a candid, black and white, behind the scenes look at the tech industry. It’s not Paris in the 1940s and 50s where black and white street photography made its mark. Perhaps this period in the late 20th century is even more important. Commonly accessible Beaux-Arts Architecture and European street life is replaced by rare shots of life at NeXT, Apple, Adobe, Sun and much more.

Never heard of NeXT? Well it’s the “other company” Steve Jobs started. The operating system behind the iPhone, iPad and the Macintosh would not be possible without the ground breaking OS created at NeXT. There are plenty of Steve Jobs being Steve Jobs images. Of course, most photographers know Adobe. See a photograph of founder John Warnock before they released Photoshop.

This 192 page is mostly photographs with descriptive text. There are introductions by famed photographer Elliott Erwitt and Novelist Kurt Andersen but the book is all about the black in white images captured by Doug Menuez. The photographs are well-printed on somewhat thin paper. It’s a good quality hard cover book. I definitely recommend getting the hardcover instead of the Kindle edition. The $6 price difference is worth it.

Love gritty black and whites? Of course all the photos aren’t grainy but you can tell the photos where shot on film. These are not ultra smooth digital shots which lack character. They have a timeless feel that documents a heady and ground breaking time in Silicon Valley.

Know a photographer that loves technology, I highly recommend this book. Perhaps it might be a perfect holiday gift. You can buy it here, from Amazon.


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