These are black and white photographs in the raw, there is very little finesse about them. Technically they are crude. I think you have to be careful not to get carried away by the sort of hero worship that goes with this book and make up your own mind on the photos. I like them, As to the book, it is beautifully produced and well worth the money. If you like it could i suggest that you also get 'Looking in' published by Steidl, a huge 500 page book that gives you the back ground to 'The Americans' and Robert Frank's life. Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans, again an absolutely beautifully produced book.
The Americans was not well received largely because of the style of photography and I suspect because American society did not want to see themselves as his pictures showed them (in parts) to be. Out of publication for some time this book is a real beauty if you like that sort of photography, if you like the perfect quality of an Ansel Adams photograph you will find that this is at the other end of the scale. I think that any one who likes books on photography or who was in or liked the beat generation times of Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burrough's will be far the poorer for not having it on their book shelf.