Dorothea Lange, An American Exodus: A Record of Human Erosion, 1939

Dust jacket back and front

Dust jacket version with further publications back and front

 

Dorothea Lange photographically documented the condition of farmers and country dwellers during the 1930s, the years of the Great Depression in America. She was hired as one of more than twenty photographers by the Farm Security Administration FSA, whose aim was to raise awareness of the people living in such poor conditions. A selection of those photographs were chosen for this – Lange’s first – book.

The book is structured into five chapters:

OLD SOUTH
PLANTATION UNDER THE MACHINE
MIDCONTINENT
PLAINS
DUST BOWL
LAST WEST

The photographs (for the most part by Lange) are accompanied by texts by Paul S. Taylor, (Lange’s Husband) and quotes from the actual farmers. Additional quotations by several other writers were also used.

There were two versions of the dust jacket made. One shows advertisements for eleven other books by the same publisher, including Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The second version has a text by Voltaire.

The graphic design and layout may appear a little clumsy, but nevertheless this book is of immense historical value, and has become one of the classics in American photobook history.

Text by Paul S. Taylor

Photographs by Dorothea Lange
and
Memphis Commercial-Appeal,
Oklahoma State Historical Society,
Arthur Rothstein for Farm Security Administration,
J. H. Ward – Lamar Colorado,
Hust Studio – Marysville California,
Ron Partridge,
Horace Bristol,
Otto Hagel.

Published by Reynal & Hitchcock, New York 1939

Hard cover with dust jacket

20 x 26.3cm

164 pages (including printed front and end papers)

 

Dust jacket back and front

Dust jacket version with text by Voltaire back and front

Cover back and front

Cover back and front

dorothea_lange-an_american_exodus_1939_01dorothea_lange-an_american_exodus_1939_02dorothea_lange-an_american_exodus_1939_03dorothea_lange-an_american_exodus_1939_04dorothea_lange-an_american_exodus_1939_05dorothea_lange-an_american_exodus_1939_06dorothea_lange-an_american_exodus_1939_07dorothea_lange-an_american_exodus_1939_08

dorothea_lange-an_american_exodus_1939_09

Left page photos by Horace Bristol (upper) and Otto Hagel (lower)

dorothea_lange-an_american_exodus_1939_10