A Handful of Dust: Disappearing America

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9780393060331: A Handful of Dust: Disappearing America

An elegy for our changing landscape by a master photographer.

Since making his earliest documentary photographs in the 1950s, David Plowden has honored those proud structures and places that America has discarded; from brawny commercial and industrial centers to small towns and farms. He reveres the honest work and spirit that built them. But the scene has changed much in the last five decades, and what's left of the honesty of small communities and the working of the land is all but gone, dealt a death blow by outsourcing, conglomerization, and our incessant drive to buy cheap at any cost. The America of these photographs is a bittersweet reminder of things once cherished and a life no longer possible. Deserted Main Streets and crumbling facades stare at us blindly. Abandoned houses and buildings reach back to ground. Plowden's work is a sad symphony; incomparably and irresistibly beautiful, while reminding us of our loss. 77 duotone photographs

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About the Author:

David Plowden is the author of more than twenty photography books, including Bridges: The Spans of North America, Vanishing Point: Fifty Years of Photography, and Requiem for Steam. He lives in Winnetka, Illinois.

From Booklist:

For more than 40 years, Plowden has been documenting abandoned farms, withered towns, and the last remnants of America's agricultural and industrial preeminence. He says he often arrives to photograph just ahead of the wrecking ball, and his introduction to this set of black-and-white images from throughout his career is a litany of buildings gone and people no longer working where he photographed them 15, 25, and more years ago. Because the element binding these pictures is their provenance in the agricultural heartland stretching from northern New England through western New York and Pennsylvania and the Midwest to Kansas, Plowden's ruefulness and the elegiac nature of the photos have a political edge. Was it inevitable that family farms and rural businesses vanished after World War II? Or was it merely expedient, and for whom? The aesthetic distinction of these pictures, including such details resonant of a vital past as the crossing signs Iron St and Zinc St. on a pole in front of an abandoned building in Ontonagon, Michigan, ensures long life to such questions. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2006. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Since making his earliest documentary photographs in the 1950s, David Plowden has honored those proud structures and places that America has discarded; from brawny commercial and industrial centers to small towns and farms. He reveres the honest work and spirit that built them. But the scene has changed much in the last five decades, and what s left of the honesty of small communities and the working of the land is all but gone, dealt a death blow by outsourcing, conglomerization, and our incessant drive to buy cheap at any cost. The America of these photographs is a bittersweet reminder of things once cherished and a life no longer possible. Deserted Main Streets and crumbling facades stare at us blindly. Abandoned houses and buildings reach back to ground. Plowden s work is a sad symphony; incomparably and irresistibly beautiful, while reminding us of our loss. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780393060331

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