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Dust Bowl Descent Hardcover – June 1, 1984


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 130 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press; 1st edition (June 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080322107X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803221079
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 10.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,651,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on April 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Photographer Bill Ganzel grew up on the Great Plains and after seeing an exhibition of Farm Security Administration photos in 1970 had the unique idea of searching out the places and people of the original photos and photographing them again. This stunning book is the result of his quest. All the photos have detailed captions and also the thoughts of those Ganzel interviewed.

Of the hundred and eighty-nine photos in the book just over half are from the FSA files, the rest are the result of Ganzel's searching out the original locations over a five year period. Amazingly he found several people who had become famous (though still anonymous) because their photos were widely reproduced in newspapers and magazines in the thirties.

One of these was Florence Thompson who was the Migrant Mother in the world famous 1936 photo by Dorothea Lange. I think it is the greatest photo ever taken and Roy Stryker head of the FSA photo section said it was THE image of the collection. This is what he said in 1972 ...''After all these years, I still get that picture out and look at it. The quietness and the stillness of it...Was that woman calm or not? I've never known. I cannot account for that woman. So many times I've asked myself what is she thinking? She has all the suffering of mankind in her but all the perseverance too. A restraint and a strange courage. You can see anything you want to in her. She is immortal. Look at that hand. Look at the child. Look at those fingers--those two heads of hair.'' So it was a wonderful surprise for me to see the photo Ganzel took in 1979 of Florence and her three healthy grown-up daughters on page thirty-one facing the original Migrant Mother photo of her on page thirty.
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More About the Author

Bill Ganzel is an author and photographer living in Lincoln, NE, with over 30 years of experience in communications. He is the author and photographer of the book and touring exhibit "Dust Bowl Descent" (1984). In it, photos of the Great Depression from the FSA (Farm Security Administration) were matched with contemporary photographs and oral history interviews with some of the same people. The New York Times, New Yorker, American Photographer, Afterimage, Kansas City Star, and other publications favorably reviewed the book. For instance, James Kaufmann called Dust Bowl Descent, "an extraordinary book ... full of simple eloquence" in the Christian Science Monitor.
Bill also has over 26 years experience as a public television and interactive media producer with national documentaries on his resume. He owns Ganzel Group Communications, Inc. He is currently working on a new "rephotography" project on the tumultuous decade of the 1960s.