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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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ISBN:
9781612192123
9781612192130
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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 2019-11-21 22:45:30PM
Last Indexed 2019-11-20 23:56:19PM

Solr Details

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auth_author2 Evans, Walker, 1903-1975.
author James Agee
author2-role Evans, Walker,1903-1975.
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Main Library
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Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description

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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primary_isbn 9781612192123
publishDate 2013
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Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
overdrive:268b0310-bb30-40fe-8dce-460d6c34a578 eBook eBook English Melville House 2013
ils:CARL0000413989 Book Books English Melville House, c2013. 224 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.
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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