Saturday, July 19, 2008

Peace, baby

One of the most recognizable and ubiquitous symbols from the latter half of the 20th century is the peace symbol. I would imagine that most people don't know the history and the true meaning of this iconic design, however (I certainly didn't). In our new book Peace: the biography of a symbol, authors Ken Kolsbun and Michael S. Sweeney trace the genesis, spread and continued popularity of this simple design. Born during the protests against nuclear proliferation in the 1950's, the creator - a textile artist from Twickenham, England - actually used the semaphore positions for 'N' and 'D' (Nuclear Disarmament) as the framework for the design.
The book begins with an historical overview of events that led to the creation of the design, an account of its debut, and a little bio of the artist who actually created the peace symbol. The book then goes on to look at the use of the symbol during the succeeding decades. Featuring color photos, bright graphics and a liberal use of varying fonts, this book seems to be geared towards the post-Boomer generations: people who are familiar with the symbol but have no idea of its history (people like me, actually). This is not an in-depth historical textbook, but a fun read - perhaps a trip down memory lane. It is, however, filled with very interesting information and would appeal to a wide range of readers.

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