Bound for Glory: America in Color 1939-43
by Paul Hendrickson
Publisher's Description
The photographs of the Farm Security Administration (FSA), which recorded American life in the late 1930s and early 1940s, remain among the most moving and famous documentary images from the first half of the 20th century. Yet few people know that, along with thousands and thousands of black-and-white photographs, the FSA photographers also took color pictures. Here, for the first time, is a selection of the best of the FSA color photographs-introduced by National Book Award finalist Paul Hendrickson and assembled to create a vivid portrait of America as it emerged from the Great Depression to fight World War II. Covering countryside and city, farm and factory, work and play, the images in this book open a window onto our national experience from 1939 to 1943, revealing a world that we have always seen in our mind's eye exclusively in black and white. Never before has there been a book that paints this picture in full color.
Amazon.com Review
Thanks to famous documentary photographs of Americans during the Great Depression, we tend to visualize everything that happened in the 1930s in black-and-white. In fact, Kodachrome first became available in the U.S. in 1935, and several photographers for the Farm Security Administration experimented with the new color film as they traveled across the country. Bound for Glory: America in Color 1939-43 presents an oddly startling world of small towns and country roads ablaze in the vivid hues of real life. A sunburned family in Pie Town, New Mexico, eat a dinner of homemade biscuits, grits, and gravy. Sisters wearing print dresses all made from the same rose and blue fabric seem dazed at the wonders of a state fair in Vermont. Work horses graze on bright green grass under a moody Kansas sky. Chosen from an archive of about 1,600 vintage color slides, the 175 photos in the book are the work of several documentary photographers, including Marion Post Wolcott and Jack Delano. Partway through this panorama of Americana, the tone and subject matter shift. Suddenly, the U.S. is at war, and the casual, unposed quality of the earlier images shifts into self-conscious glorification of the American war effort by the Office of War Information, with shots of steel mills and train yards, and of women newly hired by factories to assemble bomber parts. It's clear from Paul Hendrickson's engaging introduction that the pre-war images are the ones he finds most captivating. This slender volume--which aptly borrows the title of Dustbowl troubadour Woody Guthrie's autobiography--offers a window on a distant era in which grinding poverty and racial segregation coexist with the simple pleasures of rural and small-town life. —Cathy Curtis
ISBN: 0810943484
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Hardcover : 192 pages
Language: English
Dimensions: 11.6 x 8.1 x 0.8 inches
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