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American Farmer: The Heart of Our Country Hardcover – October 14, 2008


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Hardcover, October 14, 2008
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Welcome Books (October 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599620472
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599620473
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 1.2 x 13.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #989,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In these quietly celebratory photographs, Mobley captures the "experience of hospitality and generosity" he encountered in photographing 300 farmers in 35 states, sessions which he says "revived my own sense of spirit and optimism." His subjects are farmers who work 50 acres of organic vegetables and those who keep 3,000 acres of cherry orchards; many are barely getting by and no one says they are getting rich, although he meets men doing very well with everything from avocados to alligators. Fried transcribes their stories into engaging narratives--the highlight of the book--that present a cross-section of America that is politically active, proud of its traditions but open to experimentation, and often pleased to see college-educated offspring return to the family business. Mobley falls back too often on late-afternoon, magic hour lighting that casts a glow on his images, and he does not avoid cliches: he prefers resolute, unsmiling portraits, juxtaposes weathered elders with the fresh-faced young, and a surprising number of his subjects clutch small animals to their breasts. 150 color and b&w illus. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Paul was very captivating, engaging, and charming. I can vouch that people were in line, and the line continued, and continued, and continued. We sold out of all 60 books and could have sold 100. I stood with a colleague and watched as Paul signed books, and everyone who approached him had a story to tell. Paul listened carefully to each and every one of those stories with an open mind, and an open heart, and that drew people to him. You have a star on your hands."
--Todd Foltz, Osborn and Barr, 2010 NAMA Agri-marketing Conference

"Dear Mr. Mobley: I was at Lawrence Tractor in Visalia, CA., and they gave me a copy of your American Farmer photos. I was going to flip through it quickly and get on with my chores. I went through about 10 pages and I had chills. The photos are incredible. I've been around farmers all my life (my Grandpa and Dad were farmers) and I've always admired them and their character and their LOOK. But I've never seen them quite how you capture them. No way will I flip through that book. I will sit down and study and feel the feelings that each one of your photos produces in me. Something that can stir my insides like that is quite simply ART. You have a new admirer."
--Greg Nichols DDS, Porterville CA

"An impressive portrait covering all manner of contemporary American farming and ranching."
--Color Magazine.

"A masterpiece of a book...The pictures are uncannily good, as is the narrative of spoken words from the farmers photographed. This book will get you thinking about what's left that's good about America, and what is precious about human beings."
--Clyde Edgerton, author of The Bible Salesman

"As photographer Paul Mobley shows...there is no better way to get to the heart of farm life than through portraits and stories of the farmers themselves. This collection of photographs, with text by Katrina Fried, tells the tale of farmers across the country, from cattle ranchers in Montana to citrus farmers in Florida."
--Down East Magazine

"[Katrina] Fried transcribes their stories into engaging narratives - the highlight of the book - that present a cross-section of America that is politically active, proud of its traditions but open to experimentation, and often pleased to see college-educated offspring return to the family business."
--Publishers Weekly

"Simply stunning."
--Kansas City Star

"The passion and devotion of these people are the true essence in what [Paul]Mobley's pictures express, and what the personal stories, edited by [Katrina] Fried, reinforce. The combination is breathtaking. American Farmer is a richly layered mosaic of brilliant visuals and honest text that honors the farmers and ranchers across America. Mobley's keen vision of the American farmer, and his ability to capture the spirit which each farmer embodies, will impress readers.
--Foreword Magazine

"The first portrait collection of modern American farmers and ranchers to be published, [American Farmer] pairs anecdotes and memoirs in an excellent visual and artistic survey."
--Midwest Book Review

"Paul Mobley confirms my theory that the average American citizen, when they spend enough time with agriculturalists, will fall in love with them. He's their best advocate right now. Once he publishes this national photography book, more Americans will get to fall in love with farmers and ranchers...buy this book. It'll be worth every penny."
--Julie Murphree, Public Relations Director, Arizona Farm Bureau

"Paul Mobley does for American agriculture what Ansel Adams did for the American west."
--Erik L. Ness, Director of Communications and Media Relations, New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau

"Paul Mobley has captured something about the American spirit and the people who have been living and working on the land. It's a living spirit that is part of America's future. Paul's work has made the faces of America's farmers and ranchers visible to the rest of America."
--Joe Maley, Director, Texas Farm Bureau

"Paul is an outstanding photographer...and I know this book is really going to be something special...Without a doubt this will likely be the definitive book on the faces of farmers in America."
-Michael Danna, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, and host, "This Week in Louisiana Agriculture"

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Customer Reviews

Paul does an amazing job here with lighting and emotion to capture the soul of the subjects he is photographing.
James G. Patterson
What a wonderful book that shows the true way of life for the people who work very hard to care for their families and to feed all of us.
sunshine
Than as I went thru the stories and looked at the accompany photos I just thought this book was amazing and very true to life.
H. C. Grover

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jill A. on December 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is hands down the best Christmas gift I've ever given. I have 14 copies and have not been able to wait for Christmas to present them to the recipients. Most of my family received them on Thanksgiving day. I come from a farm family, most of my relatives have at one point been immersed in agriculture. This book brought many of them to tears. The joy on my grandmother's face as she flipped the pages one by one was priceless. Not only is the book itself a great conversation piece, it also helped recollect memories from the past. Many stories of farm life have been shared since the book made it's way into our lives. Our copy lives on the coffee table. No other book shall ever take it's place. Thank you Paul from the depths of my soul.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Linda S. Butler on November 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Memorable images. Beautiful prose from the mouths of the interviewed farmers. A testament to a difficult, but rewarding way of life. A warning that we should keep our farms viable so that our food comes from home.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Janet R. Blake on November 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have ever been a farmer, lived in a farming community or know farmers, the faces show the character, ethos, the hard-working dignity of farmers across our country.
The photography is sharp and the photographer captured the lives of American Farmers without needing much text to describe them.
An excellent snapshot of a way of life in our country.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By P. Hanson on December 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A friend has this book and I picked it up off their table expecting to just see great photos. But this book isn't just amazing photos, they are paired with great short biographies about many of the farmers. The writing is so good that I started reading it and couldn't put the book down!! Between the photos and the writing you really feel like you get to know these guys, and it makes you love farmers and the kind of "good people" they are even more. I grew up on a farming community and I think this book absolutely GETS real farmers. It's truly a better book that I thought it would be just picking it up! You won't be able to put it down! I already bought one as a Christmas gift and plan to get one for myself too.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Leah J. Westphal on November 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was watching 'This Week in Agribusiness' and they had a wonderful piece on this book. The images they showed were so full of emotive impact that I knew I would have to buy this book so I could know the stories behind them. As a poet and farmer, I found these photos especially moving. I want to thank all involved with this book for making it possible for the public to have some insight into a fading lifestyle that has long been the backbone of our nation. This book is a must see for ALL people!

Once again, Thank you.

Leah Westphal
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Angel on December 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is the most beautiful book of photography I've ever seen. It's hard cover, very large and heavy and worth much more than the going price. It pictures the heart of America--our farmers. The forgotten men and women who work so hard to make a living and make America survive. On every other page appears a photographic wonder by Paul Mobley accompanied, on the opposite page, by a history of the farm given by the subject(s). Most of the photos are in color but some are also in black and white, and others in brown tones. The pictures that Mr. Mobley took, are from all across these United States. Every line, wrinkle, age spot and gray appear as they should--vivid!! The bright blues, greens, reds, yellows, purples and oranges literally jump off the pages. I recommend this book to everyone--farmers and photographers alike, children, teachers and all those who want to see what the backbone of America really looks like. sandi angel
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By daniel lawrence on October 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
My office manager ordered this book for our lobby. Well I took a look and was amazed as to the stories each photo told. My patients love the pictures and comments are positive. I have ordered the book for our home and plan to surprise my wife. What a great country and look into our oldest families.

D Lawrence M.D.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Kelner on November 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have now ordered 3 copies of this book and plan to order more as Christmas gifts. This book has more heart felt meaning than any book I have ever owned. The authentic quotes of these strong people and the photos that capture the ruggedness of their lives. These are exactly the photos I wanted for my book Strong Medicine For The Liver, Strong Photos for Strong Words. American Farmer is without a doubt the gift that keeps on giving. I have given away 2 and watched as their breath was taken away. They were each overwhelmed with a complexity of emotion. Amazing Book. Must Buy!
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