Skip to main content

Documentary Expression and Thirties America

"A comprehensive inquiry into the attitudes and ambitions that characterized the documentary impulse of the thirties. The subject is a large one, for it embraces (among much else) radical journalism, academic sociology, the esthetics of photography, Government relief programs, radio broadcasting, the literature of social work, the rhetoric of political persuasion, and the effect of all these on the traditional arts of literature, painting, theater and dance. The great merit of Mr. Stott’s study lies precisely in its wide-ranging view of this complex terrain."—Hilton Kramer, New York Times Book Review

"[Scott] might be called the Aristotle of documentary. No one before him has so comprehensively surveyed the achievement of the 1930s, suggesting what should be admired, what condemned, and why; no one else has so persuasively furnished an aesthetic for judging the form."—Times Literary Supplement

386 pages | 73 halftones | 5.20 x 7.90 | © 1973, 1986

Art: Photography

History: American History

Literature and Literary Criticism: American and Canadian Literature

Table of Contents

Part One: Documentary
1. What Is Documentary?
Documentary: The Primacy of Feeling
The Two Documents and How They Work
2. Social Documentary
3. The Two Persuasions
4. What Documentary Treats
Part Two: The Documentary Motive and the Thirties
5. The Central Media
6. The New Deal
7. A Documentary Imagination
Part Three: The Documentary Nonfiction of the Thirties
8. Popularized Case-Worker Studies
9. Social Science Writing
Case Study
Participant Observation
10. Documentary Reportage: Radical Exposé Quotation
Case Study
Participant Observer
11. Informant Narrative
12. The Documentary Book
13. Documentary Reportage: "Conservative"
Part Four: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
14. The Photographs
15. The Text
Afterword, 1986

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press