Cotton tenants: three families

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In the summer of 1936, James Agee set out with photographer Walker Evans on an assignment for Fortune magazine. Their mission was to explore the plight of sharecroppers during the Great Depression. The journey fostered an extraordinary collaboration and a watershed literary event when the resulting report was turned into a book, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, published in 1941. Agee's original dispatch, accompanied by 25 of Walker Evans' historic photos, is an unsparing record of place and of three families who worked the land at a desperate time.
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 045954e9-59e9-329d-127d-e3d586f24f77
Grouping Title cotton tenants three families
Grouping Author agee james
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-09-22 23:50:37PM
Last Indexed 2018-09-23 00:38:23AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
auth_author2 Evans, Walker, 1903-1975.
author James Agee
author2-role Evans, Walker,1903-1975.
author_display Agee, James
available_at_catalog Donelson, Main Kids, Main Library
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Donelson - Adult Non-Fiction, Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction

A re-discovered masterpiece of reporting by a literary icon and a celebrated photographer.

In 1941, James Agee and Walker Evans published Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, a 400-page prose symphony about three tenant farming families in Hale County, Alabama, at the height of the Great Depression. The book shattered journalistic and literary conventions. Critic Lionel Trilling called it the "most realistic and most important moral effort of our American generation."

The origins of Agee and Evans's famous collaboration date back to an assignment for Fortune magazine, which sent them to Alabama in the summer of 1936 to report a story that was never published. Some have assumed that Fortune's editors shelved the story because of the unconventional style that marked Famous Men, and for years the original report was presumed lost.

But fifty years after Agee's death, a trove of his manuscripts turned out to include a typescript labeled "Cotton Tenants." Once examined, the pages made it clear that Agee had in fact written a masterly, 30,000-word report for Fortune.

Published here for the first time, and accompanied by thirty of Walker Evans's historic photos, Cotton Tenants is an eloquent report of three families struggling through desperate times. Indeed, Agee's dispatch remains relevant as one of the most honest explorations of poverty in America ever attempted and as a foundational document of long-form reporting. As the novelist Adam Haslett writes in an introduction, it is "a poet's brief for the prosecution of economic and social injustice."

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id 045954e9-59e9-329d-127d-e3d586f24f77
isbn 9781612192123, 9781612192130
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last_indexed 2018-09-23T05:38:23.854Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog 976.1062 A2654c
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Donelson, Main Kids, Main Library
primary_isbn 9781612192123
publishDate 2013
record_details ils:CARL0000413989|Book|Books||English|Melville House,|c2013.|224 p. : ill. ; 20 cm., overdrive:268b0310-bb30-40fe-8dce-460d6c34a578|eBook|eBook||English|Melville House|2013|
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
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ils:CARL0000413989 35192044234429 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
subject_facet Agee, James, -- 1909-1955 -- Travel -- Alabama, Alabama -- Rural conditions, Cotton farmers -- Alabama -- History -- 20th century, Cotton farmers -- Alabama -- Social conditions, Evans, Walker, -- 1903-1975 -- Travel -- Alabama, Farm tenancy -- Alabama -- History -- 20th century
title_display Cotton tenants : three families
title_full Cotton Tenants Three Families, Cotton tenants : three families / James Agee ; [photographs by] Walker Evans ; edited by John Summers ; preface by Adam Haslett
title_short Cotton tenants :
title_sub three families
topic_facet Agee, James, Cotton farmers, Evans, Walker, Farm tenancy, History, Literary Criticism, Nonfiction, Rural conditions, Social conditions, Travel