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You Have Seen Their Faces Paperback – January 31, 1995


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You Have Seen Their Faces + Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: The American Classic, in Words and Photographs, of Three Tenant Families in the Deep South
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"You Have Seen Their Faces contains some of the best work of both writer and photographer."--Current History


"I don't know that I've ever seen better photography. . . . Mr. Caldwell has done some of his finest writing for this book."--New York Times

About the Author

Erskine Caldwell (1903-1987) was born in Newnan, Georgia. He became one of America's most widely read, prolific, and critically debated writers, with a literary output of more than sixty titles. At the time of his death, Caldwell's books had sold eighty million copies worldwide in more than forty languages. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1984. Margaret Bourke-White (1906-1971) was among the world's most celebrated photojournalists. One of the original staff photographers at Fortune and Life magazines, she is best known for her portraits of world leaders as well as such series as those on the Depression-era rural South, World War II, India, South Africa, and the Korean conflict.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press (January 31, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082031692X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820316925
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.3 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #403,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Connie L. Hill on July 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just read this book for the first time. I am a 42 year old woman from South Carolina who has been researching her family tree for several years now. I knew that my paternal grandfathers family was extremely poor and that they "worked other peoples
's land" Someone once described their existence as being similar to the family Caldwell wrote about in Tobacco Road. This book is beautifully written and predicted the civil rights movement thirty years before it happened. A very good book for someone interested in learning about the history of poverty in the South and how it affected not just the Black population but the impoverished whites as well. It eloquently explains how poverty and ignorance bred anger and unrest between the poor whites and the poor blacks of the post civil war depression era south. The photographs are beautiful and stunning. I think it should be a required book for the average high school student studying the history of the deep south and all of it's issues of the early to mid twentieth century. Amazing that it was written in the mid 1930's and you can still see and almost feel the pain of hunger and absolute poverty in the faces and eyes of the people photographed and hear the sadness and hope;essness in their voices.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By F. Orion Pozo on December 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
In the early years of the Great Depression, author Erskine Caldwell and photographer Margaret Bourke-White spent 18 months in the American Southern states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee interviewing and photographing tenant farmers, commonly known as sharecroppers. This book, published in 1935 is the result of their work. Caldwell wrote about sharecroppers barely scraping a living from land drained of all fertility, the landlords who kept 10 million Southerners in economic slavery to produce cotton, and the politicians and ministers who supported the system rather than reform it. While he interviewed, Bourke-White sat quietly with camera ready to photograph them. It includes 75 mostly, full-page pictures taken by her that portray the destitute life of the tenant farming families. This is an amazing depiction of Southern poverty in words and pictures that I found very moving in spite of its age.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Saint Exupery on August 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
Mine is the 75-cent version, 1937, found at a library book sale. I paid $.50 and whenever I pick it up to look through it again, am surprised at my bargain: Bourke-White's photos cum captions get into your head, stay there; the text, Caldwell as Caldwell. It is a slice of our Southern history - black and white - all ages - poverty is the equalizer here, taking prisoners and spitting them out. A photo of a white kid grinning because he is going fishing, showing his teeth, so badly misshapen; yet, at the moment of that photo, the best he will have for the rest of his life. Black women lining up for the $4/month government "old age pension," being grateful for the "helping hand for the colored people." Stunning, amazing, searing. Cannot imagine why my copy was given away as I surely will not ever be doing that.
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Having experienced some of the tenant problems, this book gives an accurate account of how it was for Black and White share cropers/farmers. A few Land owners were very fair with their tenants, however, the majority were only in it for the profit. Life was unpleasant for the tenant(s).
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By Jerri Fenton on December 25, 2013
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The stories were great but the paper and reproduction of photos was poor. Really below my expectations. With the interesting subject it's a shame the reproduction ruined the beautiful photography.
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