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AMERICANS ENGLISH EDITION Hardcover – Nov 21 2008


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AMERICANS ENGLISH EDITION + Walker Evans: American Photographs: Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Edition + Vivian Maier: Street Photographer
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Steidl; Special edition edition (Nov. 21 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 386521584X
  • ISBN-13: 978-3865215840
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 2 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 771 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #74,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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Armed with a camera and a fresh cache of film and bankrolled by a Guggenheim Foundation grant, Robert Frank crisscrossed the United States during 1955 and 1956. The photographs he brought back form a portrait of the country at the time and hint at its future. He saw the hope of the future in the faces of a couple at city hall in Reno, Nevada, and the despair of the present in a grimy roofscape. He saw the roiling racial tension, glamour, and beauty, and, perhaps because Frank himself was on the road, he was particularly attuned to Americans' love for cars. Funeral-goers lean against a shiny sedan, lovers kiss on a beach blanket in front of their parked car, young boys perch in the back seat at a drive-in movie. A sports car under a drop cloth is framed by two California palm trees; on the next page, a blanket is draped over a car accident victim's body in Arizona.

Robert Frank's Americans reappear 40 years after they were initially published in this exquisite volume by Scalo. Each photograph (there are more than 80 of them) stands alone on a page, while the caption information is included at the back of the book, allowing viewers an unfettered look at the images. Jack Kerouac's original introduction, commissioned when the photographer showed the writer his work while sitting on a sidewalk one night outside of a party, provides the only accompanying text. Kerouac's words add narrative dimension to Frank's imagery while in turn the photographs themselves perfectly illustrate the writer's own work. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Vince Leo on March 27 2002
Format: Hardcover
Like an elusive text in search of itself, Robert Frank's 1958 book The Americans has changed format each of the four times it's changed publishers. From the text heavy French version to the oversized aperture reprint, Frank has continued to refine his work each time it appears in print.
In the Scalo version, the place-name captions have been removed from the pages opposite the photographs and collected in the back of the book. Forget any ideas you might have of Frank's book being a travelogue. In place of the itinerary, the Scalo edition finally establishes the ORDER of the book's photographs as the crucial ingredient in Frank's complex vision of America. The 83-photograph sequence cuts between elliptical narrative of the open road and comparative sociology of dead-end lives as Frank turns free association into inescapable logic and then back again. The result is the most masterful combination of photographs in book form.
The subjects of Frank's photographs roam this fractured typology like prophets locked in an unstable time loop. Geography no longer takes center stage as the formative element of their photographic selves. In some small but significant way, the americans in the Scalo edition reclaim the intentionality of their sadness, anger, and alienation. The bitter and often unwilling nature of their engagements with Frank take center stage, each as profound an act of refusal as Frank's own denunciation of the pasteboard optimism of '50s America.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Aug. 8 1997
Format: Paperback
The Americans is perhaps the most influential photography book published in the last 40 years. Swiss-born Robert Frank's images must have seemed completely revolutionary and startling when published in 1958. Frank used his camera to cut through the facade of a country that was beginning to build up its crust of macadam and marketing. Frank shot with available light using film that would be considered very slow by today's standards, yet his images, while many have visible grain, are gorgeous and have a full range of tones. To describe the images themselves is fruitless. Buy the book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Oct. 9 1998
Format: Hardcover
In 1955, Swiss photographer Robert Frank traveled around the United States on a Guggenheim Fellowship. The images he created were published first in France in 1958, and then the following year in America. Highly controversial in its day, "The Americans" gave us a much needed outsiders view of who we are as a people.
Frank is an incredibly skilled image maker, able communicate on many different levels with a single image. Jack Kerouac is the perfect person to write the intro to this book. Both artists worked in a similar way, using travel, speed and chance to communicate fleeting, yet deep, feelings about our complex culture.
Perfectly enjoyable by anyone with an interest in American culture, but essential for those practicing documentary photography.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3 1998
Format: Hardcover
when I first got this book, it was one of the five books I had to get for a history of photography class. At first, I thought it was just another photo book with images that were not very spectacular to look at. Then my eyes were opened by my teacher. In the midst of these photographs of all different kinds of people doing what we call ordinary events, lied the human spirit.America as it was , when frank set out for his journey.In the most subtle way, he is able to tell us great stories of the conflicts, and the happenings of a country that was about to go through some major changes. It is a highly recommended book, and it is very rewarding, even for the photographer at heart.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By acangemi@perrone.com on Dec 29 1998
Format: Hardcover
this is the only book to buy if you are interested in photography. every image is true. if you ever have a chance to view the actual prints, don't miss them. i have learned more about photography from looking at this book than any other source. it is a masterpiece.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Individually Franks images are strong but collectively bot a social statement and a work of art that transcends "strong". It is an iconic work and the that position is well earned.
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Format: Hardcover
After 19 years of working as a pro photographer, I was simply stunted, wordless and sad, because not having a pearle like this in my library. Simply-PERFECT!!!
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