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The Americans Hardcover – May 15, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 428 ratings

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From the Publisher

Robert Frank The Americans

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this 50th anniversary reissue, celebrated photographer Frank maintains the format (left page: brief caption, right page: photo) and introduction (Jack Kerouac: "with the agility, mystery, genius, sadness and strange secrecy of a shadow Frank photographed scenes that have never been seen before on film"), the images themselves have been re-scanned, re-cropped by Frank and, in two cases, changed. Frank's images, taken all across the country, leave the viewer with a solemn impression of American life. From funerals to drug store cafeterias to parks, Frank recorded every shade of everyday life he encountered: the lower and upper classes, the living and dead, the hopeful and destitute, all the while experimenting with angle, focus and grain to increase impact. Preceding an exhibition that will tour U.S. galleries in 2009, this volume will no doubt introduce new generations to Frank's inimitable record of daily life fifty years ago. Kerouac says, fittingly, that "after seeing these pictures you end up finally not knowing any more whether a jukebox is sadder than a coffin"; those who don't comprehend Kerouac's comment have yet to experience this classic collection. 83 tri-tone plates.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

I can’t think of a single living artist who has as secure a status in his or her chosen field, and I doubt there will be one for some time. (Jim Lewis LitHub)

The Americans challenged the presiding midcentury formula for photojournalism. Mr. Frank’s photographs ― of lone individuals, teenage couples, groups at funerals and odd spoors of cultural life ― were cinematic, immediate, off-kilter and grainy, like early television transmissions of the period. (Philip Gefter New York Times)

[Frank] pioneered a whole new subject matter that we [now] define as icons: cars, jukeboxes, even the road itself. (Scott Indrisek Artsy)

The photographs from his seminal book The Americans, which took a critical look at our nation’s life in the 1950s, are timeless. His work continues to inspire new generations to follow his path to see what is invisible in America. (L'Oeil de la Photographie)

His work is revolutionary in showing an America that was not seen, but also creating a way of seeing in photography that was new, powerful and charged. (Ken Light San Francisco Chronicle)

...Robert Frank changed history with the 83 images that appeared in his stark breakthrough “The Americans. (Sam Whiting SFGate)

That is the miracle of great socially committed art: It addresses our sources of deepest unease, helps us to confront what we cannot organize or explain by making all of it unforgettable. (Nicholas Dawidoff The New York Times Magazine)

The exhibition is as comprehensive as it is ephemeral featuring a wealth of photographs, all of Frank’s books since 1947, and his films that he began focusing on in the early 1960s. (Lisa Contag Artinfo)

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
428 customer ratings
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Top international reviews

Mark Walker
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor print reproduction
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 21, 2019
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David Rothwell
4.0 out of 5 stars Robert Frank Remembered...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 19, 2019
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Chris Doyle
3.0 out of 5 stars i bit of a let down but i'm chuffed with it.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 8, 2016
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Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Robert Frank, The Americans.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 20, 2010
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MISS S BURHAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 7, 2016
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John R. J. Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars great pics claustrophobic design.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 11, 2011
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Mr. J. D. Higgs
5.0 out of 5 stars A book every photographer should own.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 6, 2019
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Yavuz Yilmaz
5.0 out of 5 stars Legendary work from a legend.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 19, 2020
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Stickler
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 14, 2012
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Thomas Bregulla
5.0 out of 5 stars The mother of all streetphotography/documentary books
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 5, 2013
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Bennybee
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 16, 2014
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Benjamin Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars The seminal Robert Frank work.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 18, 2019
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Af Sheader
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the best books I've ever bought
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 17, 2014
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The Midnight Rambler
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 12, 2016
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Kindle Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars A cracking book for any photography fan. Just avoid buying direct from Amazon
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 23, 2019
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