Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Recently Read: And Their Children After Them, by Dale Maharidge, with Photos by Michael Williamson

Subtitled, The Legacy of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: James Agee, Walker Evans, and the Rise and Fall of Cotton in the South.

This sort-of sequel to Agee and Evans' classic book doesn't have the poetry, forcefulness, attention to detail, experimentalism or passionate rage that Let Us Now Praise Famous Men did. It's a much more straight forward piece of journalism. If you're curious to know what happened next to the families Agee described, though, the book is must reading. And Their Children After Them also gives an insightful overview of the history of cotton growing in America and, in particular, Alabama, and describes how the loss of that culture has affected not only the sons and daughters of the tenant farmers, but the landowners as well.
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