“Postcard of Lost Royals” and “Postcards From Utopia: The Art of Political Propaganda,” both with an introduction by Andrew Roberts, are two little books with big dreams; collections of postcards from days-gone-by and forgotten history.
Both books are beautifully made, hardcover-bound story-books that give you the impression that you are looking through the glass of a history museum display. Each page includes a picture of an old postcard, with a small description of where the postcard fits into history.
“Postcards from Utopia: The Art of Political Propaganda” showcases postcards from 1920 to 1970 used to instill a nationalistic sense of pride and success in citizens of various countries. This book presents 50 postcards from the Soviet Union, Germany, Italy, Spain and China, each providing an outstanding glimpse at the art of power and its influence. Postcards of bulky, shirtless Italian soldiers with the words “believe, obey, fight,” an image of a young German boy becoming a Nazi solider with a smile on his face, emblazoned with the words “Officer of tomorrow,” a card from the Spanish Civil War with an illustration of a woman knitting and the words “For the brothers at the front: Women! Work!”
“Postcard of Lost Royals” is like browsing through an old photo album. A surreal look into the vanishing era of international royalty— postcard images of lost kings and queens, czars and czarinas, dukes, and duchesses from Yugoslavia to Germany. Images of the Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia and Crown Prince Wilhelm, in all their glory.
The text reads like an old history text book, but the photographs are timeless. Great gift idea for those interested in history and collectors of published memorabilia.
Postcards From Utopia: The Art of Political Propaganda, hardcover, 95 pages, $20. Bodleian Library University of Oxford, www.bodleianbookshop.co.uk). Postcards of Lost Royals, hardcover, 107 pages, $20. www.bodleianbookshop.co.uk
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