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Shanghai is a perplexing city. The "Pearl of the East" embodies the admirable characteristics of a modern metropolis, but often the inverse as well. In "Planet Shanghai"'s introduction, travel writer John Krich asks, "Is Shanghai the epitome of urbane sophistication or urban degradation? 'World' city or world wretch? Least 'Chinese' of China's fabled places or most irrefutably so?" Known for his photo work with National Geographic Traveler and Smithsonian magazines, photographer Justin Guariglia makes a case for each of those extremes through the 177 images that comprise this book.

Much has been made in the press of the great images of the city's pajama-clad residents, but "Planet Shanghai" takes a wide-ranging look at the city, both flattering and otherwise. Guariglia breaks the book into eight broad sections. "City" focuses on the grandeur and grit of the metropolis. "Style" pairs conventional street shots of locals interspersed with remarkably expressive portraits of people's feet. Other sections focus on daily life, food and leisure, with a brief portion of photos featuring dogs with their owners. The canine shots have a unique tenderness in a nation where dogs can still be considered a meal.

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More photos from the book can be seen Amazon.

Also on Cool Hunting: Guariglia + Chen: Qì

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