A landmark work of American photojournalism “renowned for its fusion of social conscience and artistic radicality” (New York Times)
In the summer of 1936, James Agee and Walker Evans set out on assignment for Fortune magazine to explore the daily lives of sharecroppers in the South. Their journey would prove an extraordinary collaboration and a watershed literary event when, in 1941, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men was first published to enormous critical acclaim. This unsparing record of place, of the people who shaped the land and the rhythm of their lives, is intensely moving and unrelentingly honest, and today—recognized by the New York Public Library as one of the most influential books of the twentieth century—it stands as a poetic tract of its time. With an elegant new design as well as a sixty-four-page photographic prologue featuring archival reproductions of Evans's classic images, this historic edition offers readers a window into a remarkable slice of American history.
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Series:||Edition 001 Series|
|Product dimensions:||6.12(w) x (h) x 1.25(d)|
Table of Contents
all over alabama 15
(On the Porch: 1 17
late sunday morning 23
at the forks 29
near a church 35
Part One: A Country Letter 43
Part Two: Some Findings and Comments 99
(On the Porch: 2 195
Intermission: Conversation in the Lobby 309
Part Three: Inductions 317
shady grove alabama 381
two images 389
title statement 391
Notes and Appendices 395
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Agee's poetic language and insight to the social conditions that create his subjects particular reality is touching and leaves you pondering.
I found this to be one of the most touching books I've ever read. Perhaps because I was born in the South and understand the quiet dignity that seems inborn to those who go about living their lives to the best of their abilities without expecting or wanting the rescue of others.
If you like flowery writing to the point of distraction, then this book is for you. The subject matter was of extreme interest to me but I think this author wanted to be a poet and not a nonfiction writer. I simply could not get thru this and I always try to slug through a book. The photos are very good of the people he was writing about. I expected a biography of a time and place. I just read a whole page describing a trunk. You forget where you even were headed with the story...
The pictures are fascinating. Tittilating the eye and the imagination. The text opens with a beautifully textual homage to the Lesy. But, that is where the beautiful language ends. Somewhere between fiction and documentary lies this work of displaced tenant farmers and their plight of poverty. Skillfully excised studies of the black families, focussing solely on the white community for specific reasons of how the depression affected the once poor farmers to being the disenfranchised and completely impoverished white families cast lower than ever before. The book was a study of not how black families dealt with poverty but with how white families became outcasts in their own communities and without the help of "blacks" they would not have lived. The language is written in a continuous flow, or conscience of thought flow writing style. Which can be problematic in trying to discern the authors thought and opinions from those of his characters. Punctuation is a wonderful thing which should have been utilized in this text. Some of the story (while supposedly a true recantation of the authors 3 months stay with these families) is hard to believe because the author purports to know what the characters are thinking when they are not even in his proximity. He tells how they bath and ready in the morning when he is not in the bathroom with them. Moreover, he has a paedophillic fascination with two of the young girls; mentioning them repeatedly, focussing on THEIR family instead of the one he is staying with; knowing every step to THEIR house, yet maintaining a professional distance to the other children of the families involved in the "study". I found this attribute of the book alarmingly disturbing that not more people in our class picked up on the inuendo throughout the book pertaining to these children.