You should own this book if you have any interest in great photography unless you believe that colour has no place in artistic photographic expression and no great work has been produced since Ansel Adams and co.
Whereas Adams and co. saw America as a majestic land given, by god, to the white man, the eighteen photographers featured here look to a more real America; usually the crass, kitsch and mundane but at the same time unique, quirky and extraordinary.
This is the third book in a series by Sally Eauclaire, looking at the "new color" photography that emerged in the States in the early `70s, and while it could never be as groundbreaking as the first (The New Color Photography), it contains an equally exciting and enthralling selection of images.
The book contains a short introduction and two or three pages of text on each photographer, as well as biographical details. My only criticism would be of the writer's tendency to over-read the images and over-interpret the photographers' intentions and photographic devices. (You may also want a dictionary readily to hand!)
But the most important part of any photography book are, of course, the pictures which are reproduced to a very high quality and are from the following photographers:
Larry Babis - 9 images of " random, surreal, funny, mock apocalyptic adventures". Jim Dow - 10 images of barrooms, diners and hotel lobbies. William Eggleston - 12 images from the "Democratic Forest" series. Only 2 of these appear in the book of the same name. Mitch Epstein - 10 images from coastal holiday locations. David T. Hanson - 9 images of Colstrip mine and power plant, Montana. John Harding - 8 images - street photography. Len Jenshel - 11 images of mostly national parks. Nancy Lloyd - 8 images of Easton and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Kenneth McGowan - 8 images - "The God Pictures". Roger Mertin - 10 images of sesquicentennial celebrations, Rochester NY. Joel Meyerowitz - 9 images - street photos from `60s and `70s. Richard Misrach - 8 images of desert fires. None of these appear in "Desert Cantos" or "Crimes and Splendours". Joanne Mulberg - 8 images of drag queens. Stephen Scheer - 10 images from Texas. Stephen Shore - 8 images of the Hudson Valley. Joel Sternfeld - 9 images of Alaska. 3 of these appear in the original "American Prospects". Jack D. Teemer - 8 images of backyards. (My favourites.) Daniel S. Williams - 8 images of "Emancipation Day"