Robert Frank's 'The Americans'

The Art of Documentary Photography

By (author) Jonathan Day

Publication date:

15 February 2011

Length of book:

186 pages

Publisher

Intellect Books

Dimensions:

229x178mm
7x9"

ISBN-13: 9781841503158

In the mid-1950s, Swiss-born New Yorker Robert Frank embarked on a ten-thousand-mile road trip across America, capturing thousands of photographs of all levels of a rapidly changing society. The resultant photo book, The Americans, represents a seminal moment in both photography and in America's understanding of itself. To mark the book’s fiftieth anniversary, Jonathan Day revisits this pivotal work and contributes a thoughtful and revealing critical commentary. Though the importance of The Americans has been widely acknowledged, it still retains much of its mystery. This comprehensive analysis places it thoroughly in the context of contemporary photography, literature, music, and advertising from its own period through the present.

Robert Frank never did say very much and there is not a single word by him in 'The Americans'. Jonathan Day in this book has expertly taken over as Frank's narrator [...] As Jack Kerouac says in his introduction to 'The Americans', 'to Robert Frank I now give this message: you got eyes'. And now we have the words.