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America at Home Hardcover – March 25, 2008

24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"About the time it seems books have been written about everything under the sun - and some of them are of little value - someone comes along with a fresh, invigorating idea. America at Home: A Close-Up Look at How We Live is a monumental coffee-table book that portrays Americans of almost every race, economic bracket, locale, age - the list goes on. In short, it is America in pictures." -- The Oklahoman, April 13, 2008

About the Author

Rick Smolan is one of the original creators of the best-selling Day in the Life series and has been responsible for the most successful photography books in history, including the New York Times #1 bestseller A Day in the Life of America. Smolan’s ambitious and imaginative projects combine storytelling with state-of-the art-technology and have appeared numerous times on the covers of Time, Newsweek, Fortune and US News & World Report.

Jennifer Erwitt, together with her husband Rick Smolan, are Co-Directors of Against All Odds Productions, based in Sausalito, California. Fortune Magazine honored Against All Odds calling them “One of the 25 Coolest Companies in America.” Smolan and Erwitt’s award winning projects include: From Alice to Ocean, Passage to Vietnam, 24 Hours in Cyberspace, One Digital Day, and The Planet Project.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (March 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762434155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762434152
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 9.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #673,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rick Smolan, CEO of Against All Odds Productions, is a New York Times bestselling author and technology pioneer with more than five million copies of his books in print. A former Time, Life and National Geographic photographer, Smolan is best known as the co-creator of the "Day in the Life" books, the bestselling photography series in publishing history. His global photography projects feature the work of the world's leading photojournalists and combine creative storytelling with state of the art technology.

Smolan's newest book, "Inside Tracks: Alone Across the Outback" (2014), is a smartphone enabled coffee table book chronicling one of the most beloved stories in the history of National Geographic: Robyn Davidson's 1700 mile solo trek across the Australian desert with four camels and a dog, The book's publication was tied to the release of the movie "Tracks", produced by the Oscar winning team behind "The King's Speech". In the movie, Robyn Davidson is portrayed by Mia Wasikowska ("Alice in Wonderland") and Smolan is played by Adam Driver, (HBO's "GIRLS").

In the fall of 2012 Smolan released "The Human Face of Big Data," focused on how our planet is developing a nervous system thanks to humanity's new ability to collect, analyze, and visualize vast amounts of data in real time. The project, sponsored by EMC, Cisco and SAP, resulted in a large format book, an WEBBY AWARD winning iPad app, and a TV special which won the 2014 Boston Film festival Award for Best Cinematography. The book was delivered simultaneously to 10,000 key influencers in 50 countries courtesy of FedEx.

Smolan's publishing projects include "From Alice to Ocean" (1992) and "Passage to Vietnam" (1994), two groundbreaking books which showcased the potential of interactive technology to the book publishing world; "24 Hours in Cyberspace" (1996), a book and online project that created a digital portrait of the Internet in its infancy; "One Digital Day" (1998), which explored the impact of the microprocessor on society; "AMERICA 24/7" (2003), the first mass customized New York Times bestseller and "The Obama Time Capsule" (2008), the first print-on-demand best seller.

Smolan is a frequent speaker at business and technology conferences, including TED, The World Economic Forum at Davos, TEDMED, Techonomy, IdeaCity in Canada, DLD in Germany, and INK in India. More than a million people have watched his "Natasha'a Story" talk on (

Smolan lives in New York City with his wife and business partner, Jennifer Erwitt, and their children, Phoebe and Jesse.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mayke B. Briggs on June 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
At first glance America At Home is but a wonderful collection of stunning and wholesome photographs of American households and their unique inhabitants. Sponsored by IKEA - my children's favorite store - America At Home turns out to have more depth than you would expect. Amusing, insightful and contemplative reflections are offered on the idea of what Home means to us by an impressive number of contributing writers who include famous author, Amy Tan, Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons, Dominique Browning, the former editor of House and Garden, as well as Terry Teachout, Richard Rodgriguez, and David Pogue, who all reflect on our relationship to what we call "Home".

America At Home informs us about what's important to us. Kids, pets and spending money, it seems. Marriage, not so much. 35% of our children live in single or no parent homes, and even though 62% of us don't think money can buy happiness we spend 41 billion more than we earn on whatever it does buy.

Our hard working celebrities appear to live an average of 13 years less than us couch potatoes watching them. Since 85% of us do no exercise of any kind, you'll be surprised how many billions of dollars we - or maybe they! - spend each year on health clubs. Many more such statistics add to the overall impression of this fascinating book that will have you find yourself starting many "Did you know..." conversations, and leaving it on your coffee table for a conversation piece. This will be especially impressive if you get the custom cover jacket you can order featuring your very own - to quote Matt Groening - "kinda functional and kinda loopy" family!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cherene L. Snyder on August 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have spent hours of enjoyment with this book....losing myself in faces and places unknown to me, yet at the same time hauntingly familiar. Rick Smolan has captured America at the very time when so many of us feel we are losing a connection to the vitality and promise of our country. But in every page and every essay, there are precious reminders of where our strength for the future America's people and in our homes an communities. Thank you, Rick Smolan.....
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Yoler on July 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a book for the whole family to page through and read together. It will be particularly appealing to children, since the material is not only appropriate for them - it is heavily focused on how the family is structured around the daily routine of kids.

The book celebrates our diversity. We are a much more complex country than the rest of the world gives us credit for. We are not uni-dimensional, by a long stretch. We have many regional and micro-cultures and a broad spectrum of lifestyles, habits and opinions.
In this book, Rick and Jennifer give a unique, respectful and gentle insight into people's homes and the things they care about. The camera sees the deep ties that bind all those people to their homes, their pets, their things, their landscape and, most importantly, to each other.

We see conservative households in the heartland, both Christians and Muslims, that home-school their children, read the Holy Book, and celebrate their faith in their families. We see recent immigrants trying to adapt to America, scrape a living here, while remaining profoundly attached to, and nostalgic of their ancestral traditions. We see conservative same-sex couples loving their children and struggling with their busy lives. We see affluent folks on the two Coasts embracing modernity and new age ideals. We see diverse dreams of happiness, technology, tradition, community and the counter-culture.

We see the immense mosaic of resources, cultures and moral ideals in our beautiful country, something to celebrate joyfully. As both John McCain and Barack Obama point out, we are about an ideal greater than ourselves, about service to family, our neighbors, and our country. This book is a lovely witness to this ideal.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By B. Katz on July 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have followed Rick Smolan's books for many years. This book touched me as few others have done. My Czech wife often seems to miss the diversity of the true America. I think all of us that have suffered these past 8 years where we might not have felt proud of our country can find something to feel proud of in this book. Here one can see so clearly and beautifully the diversity, the imagination, the love of family and friends that we who have grown up in America hold to be the true America. I shared this book with my wife who I think was quite surprised to see how many America's there are and to see what the true fabric of our society looks like beyond the slick magazines and endless TV glitz.

This is a book that you can give to someone who wants to see and better understand what America is truly about.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Loren on May 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
After giving the original America 24-7 as gifts to several friends and family, I've been delighted and excited to pick up each subsequent book! Just got the newest -- America at Home and am planning several gift covers already. They really are unique and fabulous gifts especially with digital pictures so easily obtainable. I use them a lot as new baby gifts, and they are fun and simple to create. Love the books, and this one just SMACKS of AMERICA! I highly recommend it!
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