Yet another 'Best of...' book about the world's greatest photo magazine. After the weekly folded in 1972 and the monthly folded in 2000 then another go at a weekly which folded in 2005 Time is left with magazine specials and anniversary editions like this one to generate income. All the top photos in these pages, that appeared in the magazine over the years, have been reprinted many times, especially in the last anniversary book `Life: the first fifty years 1936-1986'.
This book though does have some interesting things going for it. A large format, at sixteen inches deep, making stunning photos and even more impressive and printed on a good matt art paper with a 175 screen. The layout and typography is probably the best I've seen in any Life book. The back pages reproduce thumbnails of all the weekly covers from issue one and nicely all the special editions and books right up to the magazine edition of this book.
The cherry on the cake for me was the facsimile of the first edition inside the back cover. (If you're buying a pre-used copy I suggest you check with the seller that this included, I've already seen a copy where the seller stated it wasn't) The production is probably better than the original, the paper certainly is and I doubt it had a thicker cover paper like this one. It's a pity the heading and captions are missing on page fifty-four, a heading and caption from the previous page is used and on sixty-nine the caption is missing above a photo. Hard to imagine why these mistakes happened.
If you are too young to remember Life this book is a good introduction to a magazine that presented some of the world's best photojournalism to several million readers each week. If you want the same photos a more conventional format check the remarkable 'The great Life photographers' (ISBN 0500542937).