Customer Reviews


23 Reviews
5 star:
 (22)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A full and frank appraisal of the Americans
I was lucky enough to be given a copy of The Americans as a birthday present in 1960 and its always been one of my favorite photo books. Now, with this huge book, the original becomes even more fascinating and intriguing.

To be able to see Robert Frank's application to the Guggenheim, letters to Walker Evans and Jack Kerouac, a map and itinerary for the photo...
Published on February 24, 2009 by Robin Benson

versus
25 of 52 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Ruined
Robert Frank's photographs are masterpieces and this book should be a definitive edition. Instead this book butchers The Americans.

Frank arranged his book of 83 photos to be laid out so that each photo faces an almost blank page (title, place and date are at the bottom). This book of over 500 pages ignores that structure and places most of the photos facing...
Published on February 25, 2010 by lomein


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A full and frank appraisal of the Americans, February 24, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans: Expanded Edition (Hardcover)
I was lucky enough to be given a copy of The Americans as a birthday present in 1960 and its always been one of my favorite photo books. Now, with this huge book, the original becomes even more fascinating and intriguing.

To be able to see Robert Frank's application to the Guggenheim, letters to Walker Evans and Jack Kerouac, a map and itinerary for the photo journey across America and his original working sequence of prints for the book puts the eighty-three photos in perspective. Sarah Greenhough's four essays (she is one of the seven contributors) puts him in the context of the Cold War and consumer culture times and I thought her essay about the opposition to The Americans particularly interesting (the Family of Man exhibition had a lot to answer for, though Frank had seven photos in it).

She also writes about various editions and the different printing techniques that were used. This turns out to be rather important because the viewer's perception of the photos can vary according to what copy they see. The original French and Grove Press editions were printed gravure and many of the photos were tightly cropped so that they were perceived as hard-edge images of America. Later editions, from Aperture (two) Pantheon, Scalo and Steidl sometimes used larger photos with less severe cropping. All of this is revealed in the back of the book with thumbnails of the original photos with repeats to show how the various editions presented their versions. The reality is that black and white prints cannot adequately be printed in one black pass through a press, to do it properly they have to be duotones or tritones. The Americans in this book look stunning as they are printed as tritones (probably from the same plates that Steidl used for a re-issue of The Americans in 2008).

The cherry on the cake for me with this book are the eighty-three pages of contact prints (done as duotones) with Frank's selection pulled out in the red grease crayon he used. How extraordinary to see alternate versions of photos that I've looked at over and over in the original book and to see more than 2500 negatives that he took in his travels.

Looking In is a remarkable (and beautifully produced) book that really does cover everything you'll need to know about a publishing event more than five decades ago.

BTW there is a paperback edition that does NOT include the contact prints, sequence and subsequent editions cropping pages or the correspondence and archive material. It is 144 pages fewer than this expanded edition.

***SEE SOME INSIDE PAGES by clicking 'customer images' under the cover.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important supplement, September 14, 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
By consensus Frank's The Americans is perhaps the most important photo book of the last half century even though those who don't have a clear sense of what was available before and after may not fully understand why. Indeed, his style (in its most generic sense) has become so mainstream or at least popular that his book seems quite tame, almost banal. Looking In (and the exhibit it references) is essential for understanding the context and influence of the Frank book. In the first instance it makes clear why so many of the photos in the Frank book are important and ultimately unsettling. There are lucid discussions of his choices in making, developing, and presenting the photos. It also provides a nice set of essays tracing Frank's career and the various journeys he took while making the photos. Essays on the folks who influenced him (especially Walker Evans) are quite illuminating. The volume also contains many of the pictures he took before The Americans, a bonus, as well as all those in The Americans. Thus for those who do not own the original book,this volume contains the original at relatively little extra cost (maybe $10) (but in a much larger and heavier format). The hardcover edition contains some extra material, mostly as I recall contact prints which allow comparisons of versions chosen for the book with similar ones not. For my purposes the paperback version contains the essential material and is much cheaper. The actual exhibit (which I saw in San Francisco and is now in NYC) did a nice job of explaining the sequencing of the photos (Frank was obsessed with this) and providing some insights into why certain photos are important. The exhibit notes were more focused that those in Looking In and I found the exhibit notes more helpful. However, bottom line is that this is essential reading (and looking) for anyone with more than a passing interest in modern photography, especially those who cannot see the exhibit.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent, scholarly edition of a classic, February 22, 2009
This review is from: Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans: Expanded Edition (Hardcover)
A wonderful edition of a classic. This book is bigger than a telephone directory, so the photos that make up the published version of The Americans are only a small part of it. Around those are many other images from Frank's early career, maps, the contact sheets from his three trips, and a good deal of other documentation. But the bulk of the book is made up by a series of very scholarly essays: on Frank's development before and after The Americans, on his connections with other photographers, with Kerouac and the Beat poets and so on. A more or less encyclopedic treatment.

Get it. It is an education in one volume.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frank Revealed, March 27, 2009
By 
James F. Pierce MD "photo buff" (Honolulu, Hawaii United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans: Expanded Edition (Hardcover)
This is a wonderful publication that reveals the essence of who Robert Frank, one of the world's greatest photographers, is. From the excellent essays at the beginning of the book to his detailed contact sheets at the end, this book carefully chronicles some of the most important works of this artistic genius. As one goes through the book repeatedly, new insights and understanding of Robert Frank and his work continue to be revealed. It combines academic and aesthetic value as do few other books on photography. It is quite a tome but a great buy at the price offered online.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magisterial; A Masterpiece!, November 19, 2009
This review is from: Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans: Expanded Edition (Hardcover)
Ms Greenough has outdone herself in creating the most thorough, broadest, and deepest attempt to analyze a single work of art. This book sets a new standard for what a similarly intended book can be, not just for one work by one artist, but books about a single artist, a group, or a genre of art.

There are several brilliant critical books on any number of artists now. But this one, even at full price, has arguably the best price-performance ratio of any. This book is a steal, hands down.

Including all of the plates and all of the contact sheets for each plate in "Americans" is a curious photographer's dream, never realized, to this reviewer's knowledge, until this book.

The publisher, Steidl, deserves, too, high praise for taking on this tome and for the quality of so many of its recent publications on Frank, Leiter, and so many others. Steidl is currently among the top very few highest quality publishers of significant photography.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ginormous, August 15, 2009
This review is from: Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans: Expanded Edition (Hardcover)
This book is big, maybe even too big. A door stop and then some. But fortunately it's filled with lots of Robert Frank imagery so who can complain. I still like having the original format version of The Americans to get a real sense of how it was meant to be, but this is a good compliment to the original.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, March 4, 2009
By 
C McGurk (Southern California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans: Expanded Edition (Hardcover)
Can't add much to what the other fine reviewers said except that the quality of the photographs are keenly reproduced and only add to the heightened anticipation of turning to the next page.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, so much more than the standard edition, February 23, 2010
By 
Ron Greer (Pacific Northwest) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans: Expanded Edition (Hardcover)
I just received this book a day ago, and have only had the chance to spend an hour or so going through but Wow, what a book. Very very impressive. I have owned the standard version of The Americans for over a decade and was hesitant to buy again what I already own but this book is so much more than the original, there really is no comparison; this is a very different book and well worth the purchase, really a mandatory purchase if you appreciate Robert Frank's work.

Printed in Germany, the printing and feel of the book is excellent. Don't give it a second thought, this is a treasure of a book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hefty Book, with Hefty content., August 21, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans: Expanded Edition (Hardcover)
The book as an object commands a real presence, my only regret missing the exhibition in 2009. The essays are proving to be engaging as I earn more about Mr. Frank and his life and work. My favourite part however is the inclusion of the proof-sheets from the project, these add another dimension to the reading of the original book, fantastic.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars One of my most valuable photo books!, October 9, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans: Expanded Edition (Hardcover)
This book is superb! In addition to an excellent review of The Americans in goes into depth on Frank's early years in Switzerland, his training and early work and influences. I found Greenough's review of Frank's book editing process helpful in my own work. It is a course in photography, photo book editing, and more. Yes, the book is expensive, but one of the most useful photo books for the serious amateur and professional alike.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans: Expanded Edition
Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans: Expanded Edition by Sarah Greenough (Hardcover - January 1, 2009)
Used & New from: $176.99
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.