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This Place, These People: Life and Shadow on the Great Plains Hardcover – November 19, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (November 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231165226
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231165228
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 10.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #781,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

I was very moved by this evocative, literate, and informative book. Warner's beautiful -- and painful -- photographs are a perfect companion to Stark's writing and the 'voices' of the Nebraskans that are included. I am very grateful for this sensitive and sad look back.

(Ruth Silverman, former associate curator of the International Center of Photography and two-time winner of the Photography-Book-of-the-Year award for The Dog and Athletes)

The photographs and the words so beautifully preserved here evoke powerful -- and indeed painful -- memories of the homes left behind when millions of rural Americans packed up, said good-bye to all they had known, and relocated to the nation's cities and suburbs. The memory of that transition continues for many of us, tearing at our hearts.

(Robert Wuthnow, author of Remaking the Heartland: Middle America Since the 1950s)

This Place, These People makes the forgotten and the ordinary sacred. The photos are breathtaking; the interviews as homey and nourishing as rice and beans. Every picture and quotation is revelatory and poignant. I'd like to give this book to almost everyone I know.

(Mary Pipher, author of The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture)

This marvelous book offers us a glimpse of the ghost of the Great Plains as it makes a last appearance. We ought to be immensely grateful to David Stark and Nancy Warner for inviting us to their deeply moving séance.

(Ted Kooser, former U.S. Poet Laureate)

These resonant photographs and recollections evoke a world almost gone from American life. They are as filled with time as old monuments, and as moving.

(Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author)

Warner's exquisite and haunting images are like memory itself: fragments that the imagination weaves together into a meaningful whole.

(Martha Casanave, photographer)

Richly nuanced.

(Publishers Weekly)

A melancholy, touching look at a vanishing way of life.

(Sarah Bryan Miller St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Each photo presents a snapshot of a place vacated. Together, they tell a larger story of an America fading into the landscape.... Conversations, captured by Stark, are sprinkled throughout the book, bringing insight and understated humor to the inanimate beauty of Warner's photographs.

(Casey Logan The Omaha World Herald)

About the Author

David Stark is the Arthur Lehman Professor of Sociology and International Affairs at Columbia University, where he directs the Center on Organizational Innovation. His most recent book is The Sense of Dissonance: Accounts of Worth in Economic Life.

Nancy Warner is a fine-art and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. Many of the photographs in this book were first exhibited at the Great Plains Art Museum as Going Back: Midwestern Farm Places (2008). The photographs are available for sale, exhibit, or licensing. Contact Nancy Warner at www.warnerphoto.com.


More About the Author

Nancy Warner grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. By 1976 she had found her way to San Francisco via Boston, Europe, Africa, Canada, and Mexico. During her first years in the city, she learned basic photographic techniques by building her own pinhole cameras and working as an offset printer and graphic artist. After buying a medium format camera in 1983 she took a series of classes and private workshops with Ruth Bernhard, Jim Goldberg, Martha Casanave, John Sexton, and other California photographers.

In 1992 she gave up a career as a book designer and book production manager to open a photography studio in San Francisco Chinatown. Since then she has created several series of fine-art photographs that have been exhibited across the US. She has become quite well-known as a portrait photographer and her studio is still located in SF Chinatown, not far from the financial district, where she focuses on both fine-art photography and commercial portraiture.

Many of the photographs in "This Place, These People: Life and Shadow on the Great Plains" were originally exhibited under the title "Going Back: Midwestern Farm Places". The photographs in the book are currently available for sale, licensing. and exhibition. To bring this exhibition to your community contact Nancy Warner.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Brown on March 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book. Getting a mix of writing and photography to work successfully with neither medium taking over, but instead jointly describing a complex world, is a tightrope, a very difficult thing to do. Warner and Stark get it just right. They describe a Nebraska in all its warmth, kindness, and intelligence, and they do it in ways, that to my mind, the recent movie Nebraska so badly fumbled. This is the real thing. The quotes recorded and selected are deeply moving and the photographs work gracefully and expansively with these words. The statement from Wright Morris, which begins the book sets the tone. "In all my life I've never seen anything so crowded, so full of something, as the rooms of a vacant house." There is past here and there is present and the book has saved something precious for the future.
This is a brilliant, kind and eloquent book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karen on January 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband was raised in Cuming County so I purchased the book for him as a Christmas gift. He enjoyed seeing the farm places as he remembered them!
Beautiful photography and thoughtful commentary!
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By Wilma on June 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book. It made me remember that we are all just one step from poverty. The depression should have been a wake up call for us and we should honor our farmers instead of trying to take away their land. I was raised on a cotton plantation in Mississippi and it was a very hard life as it always depended on what nature handed out
. This book had a very big impact on me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The photography reminds me of Walker Evans's work, except that this concentrates on places rather than people. But I see people in the places, and the echoes of lives lived. Beautiful book.
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