Sunday, November 13, 2005

Bound for Glory

Bound for Glory

This is the book I happened on at the library yesterday. It's a collection of early kodachrome pictures taken by photographers working with the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information in the late 30's and early 40's.

Unbelievable stuff...I've always been a big fan of the WPA photos and other New Deal art programs in general, but these are really special.

For the most part these were all 35mm shots and while I am no photo geek, I am really amazed at the detail and color. According to the introduction by Paul Hendrickson, these were all locked away and forgotten about in the Libray of Congress until discovered in the late 70's and only widely available until last year with the publication of this book. Good for us.

No other time in American history interests me like the period leading up to and including WW2...and what makes this book so interesting was that the photos begain as propaganda fodder for the displacement and mistreatment of the country's rural poor...see, poverty was hip way before Katrina...

I can totally see my grandparents and their families in these pages...some forced from agrarian lifestyles into a semi-urban mix of their rural roots and an entry into an economy driven by industry...I know women on my grandmother's side benefited...doors got opened that never existed before...

I wonder if the innocense captured in these pictures is finally starting to fade? WW2 vets will all be gone within my lifetime most likely...the war itself isn't revered the way I remember it being as a kid...that's really too bad in my opinion - think I'll go put on some Woody Guthrie and think on it.....definately check this book out if you have the least bit of interest in anything to do with the era...