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West and West: Reimagining the Great Plains (Center for American Places - Center Books on American Places) Hardcover – October 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1935195009 ISBN-10: 193519500X Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews


"This is a great book, a book that I love. And Deal's excellent essay will be very valuable for students and teachers alike." - Rod Slemmons, director, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago"

About the Author

Joe Deal was born in 1947 in Topeka, Kansas. He is the provost of the Rhode Island School of Design. Deal has been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and his work is included in numerous museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles; and the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, Rochester.


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Product Details

  • Series: Center for American Places - Center Books on American Places
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Center for American Places; 1 edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193519500X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935195009
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.7 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,343,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on January 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Looking through these photographs reminded me of what Walter Prescott Webb wrote in his fascinating and definitive book on the Plains, that the early European settlers came upon this huge area and were initially stopped in their tracks. They were used to hills, rivers, trees, woods, villages and neighbors within a reasonable walking distance. The horizontal Plains were an alien concept to many of them but the hardy ones pressed on, settled and then endured the searing heat, long winters, loneliness and a wind that could blow for weeks. He quotes Beret Hansa, the heroine of Ole Rolvaag's 'Giants of the earth': "Why, there isn't even a thing that one can hide behind!"

The fifty-one photos certainly capture the look and timelessness of the Plains though the folk who live there see it in color and I wonder why these photos are black and white? Surely color photography long ago shed its strictly commercial image. Color would certainly help I think because I found these photos rather dull overall. The vision is predominately horizontal and passive though there are several photos that feature a rock formation and even a tree or two to break up the horizon. Any man-made activity is totally absent.

Deal writes in his Introduction that half the counties of the Great Plains now have, on average, fewer than two people per square mile. An interesting point because, as he says, this is approaching the definition of wilderness and his photos could justifiably show a bland landscape because it is reality but I just don't find it a landscape that I'll want to look at too often on these pages.

The book's almost square format, beautiful printing (with a 200 screen) paper and elegant design are the quality one would expect from the Center for American Places.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jake the Sheik on April 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Joe Deal has made a highly significant contribution to the world of landscape photography over the past 40 years, and this is his latest collection of works. This book is a "must" for anyone serious about photography.
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