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Coal Hollow: Photographs and Oral Histories (Series in Contemporary Photography, Vol. 4) F First Edition Edition

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520246546
ISBN-10: 0520246543
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Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton
"Humans of New York" by Brandon Stanton
Check out Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton, presenting a whole new group of people in stunning photographs, with a rich design and, most importantly, longer stories that delve deeper and surprise with greater candor. Learn more | See related books
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Editorial Reviews


“Ken Light is a social documentary photographer in the classic sense . . . he photographs people who otherwise would never be seen or heard.”
(Ken Lassiter Photographer’s Forum 2011-06-01)

From the Inside Flap

"America's coal industry remains a laboratory test for 'free market' capitalism and government's efforts to control it. The people who live in its midst, as captured here in words and pictures by Ken and Melanie Light, are obstinate, wounded, witty, profane, and defiantly human."—John Sayles, Independent Filmmaker

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Product Details

  • Series: Series in Contemporary Photography (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 151 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; F First Edition edition (February 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520246543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520246546
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 0.7 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M. Fox on February 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It doesn't get much better than this, which I guess you should expect from the Professor of Photojournalism at Berkeley! In classic style, Ken Light has captured,with stunning photography, a clear slice of life in the backwaters of the US. Wife Melanie Light has added excellent context with a series of oral histories. Some of it is shocking, some of it is amusing. It is all a riveting read and a must have book for collectors and the curious.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By K. Levitch on February 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was so surprised by these photos and oral histories. The photos are a good as you'd expect from Ken Light, one of the best black and white photographers in the County. This is one of the poorest parts of the county with grinding economic conditions and yet these people are treated honestly and with great dignity. The moutain culture is largely unknown but is a greatly interesting part of our culture. This is a deeply touching book, a view of a often hidden people. I would highly recommend this to anyone interest in this part of the county, interested in the Appplachian culture or interested in great photography.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Riis on November 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I attended a talk Ken Light gave at the Photo SF show this past summer in San Francisco. He discussed this book at length, and shared stories from his career. I also met his wife, Melanie, who conducted the interviews and wrote the text of the book. They are both wonderfully committed to social justice and the use of photography and oral history as a mechanism for communication. I purchased the book later and found the photographs to be both beautiful and informative. Ken remains committed to film and uses medium format cameras. The quality of the images shows that it really works for him. The quality of writing is superb and adds tremendously to the enjoyment of the images. This is a model for anyone interested in documentary story telling and could be used as a complementary text for a course in this subject. I'm glad that Black and White images, along with stories from the "visits" Melanie and Ken had with the families still can find a publisher.
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Vickie J. Richardson on July 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am a native of McDowell County where many of these photographs were taken, and I cannot recall ever seeing people living in such squalor as was depicted in this book. I am surprised that the Lights were able to come up with so many photographs that represent the southern part of West Virginia in such a bad light. West Virginia does suffer from a depressed economy, but locations with the appalling conditions shown in these photos are not typical of the area. This must be a work of fiction. I hope people won't judge my beautiful state by this book.
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