Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
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Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
James Agee and Walker Evans
Essays
Jul 28, 2018
In the summer of 1936, Fortune magazine commissioned James Agee and Walker Evans to report on the lives of sharecroppers in the Deep South. Agee was a twenty-six-year-old journalist who’d published a volume of poems two years earlier; Evans was a thirty-two-year-old photographer. The assignment took them to Hale County, Alabama, where they spent eight weeks with three families of tenant farmers. Fortune chose not to run the article that resulted from Agee’s and Evans’s two-month stay, but in 1941 a more significant record of their collaboration finally saw the light: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, a landmark volume of photographs and prose that has since been recognized as one of the most remarkable books of the twentieth century.
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Hard work but worthy and important subject
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