Library JournalThe photographs in this outstanding book are drawn from thousands of images taken by Wettach over the course of 40 years. A self-taught photographer, Wettach worked as an Iowa county supervisor for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) during the 1930s and 1940s. Although he was not hired as an FSA photographer, his work both complements and effectively contrasts with images by Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, and other well-known photographers. While the FSA photographers poignantly captured the hardships of the Great Depression, Wettach depicts frugal rural people in the Midwest busily gathering hay, picking apples, butchering hogs, and generally providing for themselves, as well as enjoying occasional simple pleasures. Still, the book's title refers more to the collection of photographs than to the farm families, who are at best just getting by. The great strength of Wettach's work is the intimacy of his photographs. Journalist and editor Loveless has done a superb job of selecting the photographs and arranging them into separate chapters. Her text and captions set the photographs in a distinct time and place. Essential for all collections of fine photography and 20th-century American history.-Raymond Bial, Parkland Coll. Lib., Champaign, IL Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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