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Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: Three Tenant Families Hardcover – 25 Jun 2001

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Violette Editions; New edition edition (25 Jun. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1900828154
  • ISBN-13: 978-1900828154
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 23.6 x 4.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,402,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

JAMES AGEE (1909-1955), a poet, screenwriter, and journalist, won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel A Death in the Family. His other books include a volume of poems, Permit me Voyage, the novel The Morning Watch, and several collections of correspondence, reviews and film scripts.

WALKER EVANS (1903-1975) is best known for his striking Depression-era photographs. He served as an editor for both Fortune and Time and was a professor of graphic arts at Yale.

Blake Morrison was born in Skipton, Yorkshire, in 1950.His non-fiction books include And When Did You Last See Your Father? (1993), As If (1997), Too True (1998), Things My Mother Never Told Me (2002). His first novel, The Justification of Johann Gutenberg was published in 2000. Blake Morrison lives in London.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G. C. Brown on 7 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
Rather than reading, I mounted an assault on this indescribable and demanding "cooperative human effort". Agee's torrential prose is outrageous, arrogant and desperate as he issues a rally cry, and displays a railing anger against the fabric of society (teachers are described as at best being "servants of unconscious murder") as he describes the lot of Alabama tenant farmers in the 1930s. The book's consideration of existence is made all the more resonant through the haunting photography of Walker Evans. Half exposition of a new form of writing, and half explanation of the exposition, the author demands much as he sets out his grandiose ambition - "by consuming all that is within you into the never relaxed determination that this shall be made different, and shall be made right". Influenced heavily by his communist views and his religious background, this unsettling and unique book has made an impression - to live more carefully and more cooperatively and consider responsibilities more fully.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David H. Bebbington on 19 Aug. 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A chance to experience a much-praised classic. The book begins with 64 pages of Walker Evans' pictures, as pithy and full of impact as the day they were taken. There then follows Agee's text, 411 pages of the most tortured, convoluted, pretentious, rambling verbosity I have read in a good long time. One can assume from the fact that Agee struggled to find a publisher, and that the planned parts 2 and 3 were never written, that even at the time his work was considered barely readable, and it has aged very badly. But the book is still worth buying for the pictures!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 July 2001
Format: Hardcover
when agee set to work on this with walker evans, he hoped to document three tenant families in the american south during the 1930's... what he did however is a mix of first person and third person prose, poetry, images and every type of writing conceivable. Not particularly easy to read, but there are many gems hidden in here. Not your average american "classic" to say the least. Agee was arguably a creative genius, although at some points he comes out as a mumbling drunkard. Evans' photos are terrific and the book is very touching... a ground breaking book without doubt.
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By Pat Garrett on 12 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this was something I had wanted to read for quite a few years....to be quite honest it was disappointing..a mish-mash of text jumping about all over the place....not enough of Evans' photographs..or am I missing something?......is it a precis?.......I'll give it another read this weekend.
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By mrs c m southward on 31 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
fantastic photos. very moving book
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