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Distributed for Intellect Ltd

Robert Frank’s ’The Americans’

The Art of Documentary Photography

In the mid-1950s, Swiss-born New Yorker Robert Frank embarked on a ten-thousand-mile road trip across America, capturing thousands of photographs of all levels of a rapidly changing society. The resultant photo book, The Americans, represents a seminal moment in both photography and in America’s understanding of itself. To mark the book’s fiftieth anniversary, Jonathan Day revisits this pivotal work and contributes a thoughtful and revealing critical commentary. Though the importance of The Americans has been widely acknowledged, it still retains much of its mystery. This comprehensive analysis places it thoroughly in the context of contemporary photography, literature, music, and advertising from its own period through the present.

186 pages | 7 x 9 | © 2011

Art: Photography

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"Jack Kerouac says in his introduction to The Americans, ’To Robert Frank I now give this message: you got eyes.’ And now we have the words."

Eamonn McCabe | Guardian

Table of Contents


Foreword: Robert Frank
      Eamonn McCabe


Part One: America and The Americans

1. Frank and the ‘50s

2. Developing The Americans

3. A Divided World: ‘Art’ and ‘Documentary’ Photography

4. The Creation, Selection and Programming of The Americans’ Images: All That Jazz

5. Image and Text

Part Two: Themes in The Americans

6. People of the Flag

7. On the Road

8. Losing My Religion: New Icons For a New Civilization

9. The Americans’ Response To The Family of Man Exhibition

10. The Americans and the Promotional Images of the Standard Oil Company

11. The Primacy of the Visual

Part Three: The Americans As a Photographic Sequence

12. Tracing the Lines of His Hand

Photographs in The Americans

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