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PICTURING MIGRANTS: THE GRAPES OF WRATH AND NEW DEAL DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY. James R. Swensen. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2015. Charles M. Russell Center Series on Art and Photography of the American West, 18. 268 pp. with 211 ills. 29 x 23 cm. LC 2015-2780 ISBN 9780806148274 In English.
Publisher's description: As time passes, personal memories of the Great Depression die with those who lived through the desperate 1930s. In the absence of firsthand knowledge, John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" and the photographs produced for the New Deal's Farm Security Administration (FSA) now provide most of the images that come to mind when we think of the 1930s. That novel and those photographs, as this book shows, share a history. Fully exploring this complex connection for the first time, "Picturing Migrants" offers new insight into Steinbeck's novel and the FSA's photography and into the circumstances that have made them enduring icons of the Depression. Looking at the work of Dorothea Lange, Horace Bristol, Arthur Rothstein, and Russell Lee, it is easy to imagine that these images came straight out of the pages of "The Grapes of Wrath." This should be no surprise, James R. Swensen tells us, because Steinbeck explicitly turned to photographs of the period to create his visceral narrative of hope and loss among Okie migrants in search of a better life in California. When the novel became an instant best seller upon its release in April 1939, some dismissed its imagery as pure fantasy.
Indexing: Western — United States — 1900-1945 — Photography
Plans: 71,54
Worldwide Number: 167747
Hardcover $34.95x (libraries receive a 10% discount on this title)    

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