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An American Exodus: A Record of Human Erosion Paperback – October 15, 1999
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Midwest Independent Research, educational websites. Progressives, mwir-progressives.blogspot. There is a book list here.
In the back of the book there are two essays, one by Sam Stourdze, is an excellent explanation of how Lange and Taylor compiled the book. The sales fell well short of their expectations and Stourdze comments "the rigor of its approach, the verism of its oral testimony and the radicality of its photographs were hardly designed to have mass appeal" Quite right I think, having looked through the book many times I don't think the powerful photos are backed up by adequate captions. All the photos are anonymous, even the ones with people, and surely any reader would want to know who are these folk, what is their story? This information was available because Lange took detailed notes on all her photographic assignments. It's as if the author's thought the only way they could put their point across was in an abstract way and ignore the very human turmoil the photos clearly show. In 1937 photographer Margaret Bourke-White and writer Erskine Caldwell compiled a similar photo book about the living conditions of the desperately poor rural underclass, called `You Have Seen Their Faces' (reissued as a paperback in 1995) but here the photos and captions blend together better.
'An American Exodus' is a book of remarkable photos and well worth having if you are interested in America during the Depression years. BTW, the book reproduces the back dust jacket of the original and the New York publisher, Reynal & Hitchcock, list other "Vital books of our Time" and for three bucks you could buy 'Mein Kampf' by Adolf Hitler, "The blueprint of the Nazi program by the man who is shaking the world. No American should miss it".
***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.