Neighbors: A Forty-Year Portrait of an American Farm Community

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9780002552097: Neighbors: A Forty-Year Portrait of an American Farm Community

"Neighbors" is a warm welcome into one farming community in America's heartland. Beautiful black-and-white photographs made over the course of 40 years by renowned photographer Archie Lieberman coupled with stories of the people of Jo Daviess County reveal the American tradition of struggle with the land and passion for hard work.

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From Booklist:

In 1954, Life sent Lieberman to Scales Mound, Illinois, to photograph a young woman, Janet Hammer, who had won a sewing contest. He found the community so engaging that--over the 40 years chronicled here--it became his refuge; he himself lives on a farm there now. Lieberman's early sequences seem, if inadvertently, quite nostalgic; the vintage tractors weren't vintage then, and everyone seemed genuinely happy with quilting bees, ice cream socials, and courting on the square. Later years, particularly the 1970s, are more jarring, with scenes of farm auctions and grim-looking creditors. Neighbors is something of a sequel to Lieberman's Farm Boy (1974), a tribute to father and son, Willis Hammer Sr. and Jr.--and it's a sad sequel. The father died in 1977. His son, 49, died in 1990, telling his daughter, "It ain't so bad to die." The panel taken by the barn--beginning with young Willis' mother measuring his height, followed by the bright-eyed young man about to be a husband, followed by the mature man whose paunch has grown and whose face is etched not only with weather but with trouble--tells the story. Still, there's the Muchow family, whose farm was auctioned off early in their marriage but who moved onto a rental, and, in 1992, were finally able to purchase it. Sad and hopeful black-and-white photographs completely immersed in their subject. John Mort

From Publishers Weekly:

In 1954, photojournalist Lieberman went on an assignment to the Illinois farming town of Scales Mound and became so attached to the people there that he spent the next 40 years documenting their way of life, eventually even moving to the community. Concentrating on the Hammers (the subjects of his earlier book, Farm Boy ) and several other families, he follows his neighbors through three generations, photographing them and recording their plainspoken accounts of their lives, their beliefs and their love of the land. Farm failures and loan foreclosures are ever-present threats, but these hard-working people are at ease with their modest lives, and this contentment is reflected in their faces. The book is appealing because Lieberman's 165 strong, candid black-and-white photographs of his neighbors at picnics, ice cream socials, Sunday dinners, sewing bees and baby showers are as unpretentious as what these self-reliant men and women have to say about themselves.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Lieberman, Archie
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