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American Power Hardcover – October 12, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Steidl; First edition (October 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3865219241
  • ISBN-13: 978-3865219244
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 11.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #643,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Geoff on August 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is excellent. The image quality is very good. The content is relevant and the size is great. It's a good representation of Epstein's photographic voice and one of those I can look through over. I would highly recommend this one!
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Format: Hardcover
After five years of documenting energy across the country Mitch Epstein is now aware of two American powers: the one he set out to photograph and the other the power of the authorities to question his right to do so; after all he could have been a terrorist with a missile (or tripod with camera). In the short Afterword at the back of the book he reveals his frustration with energy producers who prefer not to have their plants photographed and use local police to enforce corporate instead of Constitutional law. In Poca, West Virginia, after being questioned by the sheriff and others an FBI man arrived, "You know," he said, "if you were a Muslim, you'd be cuffed and taken in for questioning."

Despite the local aggravation I think the sixty-three photos admirably set out what Epstein wanted to reveal: the look of energy. The scene is set from Plate one, a shot of some backyards with trees and green grass and the hulking cooling towers of the Amos Coal Power Plant, Raymond City, West Virginia, ever present as a grey background (I thought this photos was strangely reminiscent of a Gregory Crewdson tableau). Plate twenty-seven shows a mangled off-shore oil platform at Dauphine Island, Alabama, brought low by Katrina and it looks a stunning shot. Plate fifteen, a long shot of the Wyodak open-strip coal mine in Wyoming with huge yellow conveyer belts snaking across gouged out landscape. Plate sixty from Altamont with a wind farm, set in desert scrub, as the background to four golfers playing their shots on the lush grass of the course.
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