Drawn from a broad range of photography, from works by famed photographers to anonymous images, Once Upon a Time in the East offers a portrait of Czechoslovakia across the twentieth century, registering its dramatic changes of regime as well as more intimate scenes of daily life. Communist demonstrations and festivals are documented alongside domestic scenes in pubs and cottages. Among the historic moments recorded in this volume are the blasting of the Stalin monument in Prague in 1962 (taken by an unknown photographer); Milon Novotny's photographs of the funeral parade of Jan Palach in 1969; and an incredible series of surveillance photographs taken by an unidentified member of the Czech secret police, which furtively documents equally furtive assignations on the streets of Prague. Works by Ivo Gil, Josef Koudelka, Jindrich Streit, Miroslav Tichy, Jiri Toman and many others are also included.
Czech Photography of the 20th Century, published simultaneously in Czech and English versions, is the first book to present the main trends, figures, and works of Czech photography from the beginning to the end of the last century to such a large extent. Its 517 plates include not only the most important, well-known photographs and photomontages, but also works that have long been forgotten or are published for the first time. The book is arranged in seventeen chapters, supplemented with chronologies of the most important events in twentieth-century Czech photography and history.