Exceptional Photos & Journalism by Evans & Agee
Photographer Walker Evans and writer James Agee collaborate in this remarkable account of the lives of farmers during the tragedy of the Dust Bowl storms during the Great Depression.
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men documents the experience and lives of American farmers during the tragic years of the Dust Bowl droughts. Fortune magazine charged them to document the experience and conditions of sharecropper families in the American South of 1936.
Agee and Evans came up with this work of tremendous visual and expressive power. Evans' photos are especially striking in their depiction of the roughness of the life of these farmers. While Agee often writes as a simple spectator, at times his feelings permeate the work as he feels like a spy intruding in the private lives of these humble people who he cannot help.
The book's ambitious scale and rejection of traditional reporting made it a modest success at first. However, it went on to become a highly influential work, with its radically innovative approach to journalism and literature, as well as its historical and social relevance. Agee not only shared the farmer's experiences, but also presented them in their poignant political and cultural contexts.
Out of respect for the families, their identities were withheld from this publication, but their names have been traced back to the real people.
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men was adapted for radio broadcasting by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 1966, written by George Whalley and produced by John Reeves.