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Otto Neurath’s famous Modern Man in the Making, first published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1939, captures and describes the state of the world in the 1930s by using text and figurative illustrations. From 1925 onwards, Neurath and his team had worked on a new visual language termed “Isotype”. At a time that saw the rise of new mass media making hitherto unthinkable amounts of information available, Neurath felt the need for a systematic visualization explaining facts, statistic data and comparative numbers in simple ways. The book can be seen as one of the most influential predecessors of today’s ever-present infographics. Its topics include diverse social issues of the time such as mortality, health, employment, trade, education, mobility, migration and demographics.
Modern Man in the Making shows Neurath’s democratic endeavor to make knowledge intelligible and available to all. This pivotal historical picture-text book is made available again as a reprint of the original publication in the series XX The Century of Print.