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Dorothea Lange

A Life Beyond Limits
Gordon, Linda (Book - 2009 )
Average Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.
Dorothea Lange
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Dorothea Lange's photographs define how we remember the Depression generation; now an evocative biography defines her creative struggles and enduring legacy. We all know Dorothea Lange's iconic photos -- the "Migrant Mother" holding her child, the gaunt men forlornly waiting in breadlines -- but few know the arc of her extraordinary life. In this sweeping account, renowned historian Linda Gordon charts Lange's journey from polio-ridden child to wife and mother, to San Francisco portrait photographer, to chronicler of the Great Depression and World War II. Gordon uses Lange's life to anchor a moving social history of twentieth-century America, re-creating the bohemian world of San Francisco, the Dust Bowl, and the Japanese American internment camps. She explores Lange's growing radicalization as she embraced the democratic power of the camera, and she examines Lange's entire body of work, reproducing more than one hundred images, many of them previously unseen and some of them formerly suppressed. Lange reminds us that beauty can be found in unlikely places, and that to respond to injustice, we must first simply learn how to see it.
Authors: Gordon, Linda
Title: Dorothea Lange
a life beyond limits
Publisher: London ; New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2009
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: xxiii, 536 p., [40] p. of plates :,ill. ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Linda Gordon
ISBN: 9780393339055
0393057305
9780393057300
Branch Call Number: 779.092 L274g 2009
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references and index
Subject Headings: United States Social life and customs 20th century Pictorial works Documentary photography United States History 20th century Photographers United States Biography Lange, Dorothea
Topical Term: Documentary photography
Photographers
LCCN: 2009019639
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Library Staff

An astonishing and deeply moving biography of Dorothea Lange, America's foremost social photographer. No other account can rival this one . . . for its dissection of the passions, injuries, and hopes that impelled Lange to challenge boundaries.--Gary Gerstle, author of "American Crucible."


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The accompanying descriptions are right on the money --- it's thoroughly researched and very well written. I would only add that it is as much a work of early-to-mid-20th-century American socio-economic and cultural history as it is a biography of a determined, demanding, and flawed human being who overcame many obstacles to accomplish much as a photographer, documentarian, and artist. She contributed enormously to the full telling of our national narrative.

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