A while ago I ordered this book from Waterstones. Got it for £30 (inc P&P) as it hadn’t been released in the UK at that point and I’d pre-ordered it. I had to wait quite a while as I pre-ordered it about 2 months before it was released here.
It is an amazing book, especially if you like photography.
For some reason it’s now out of stock and selling for over £100 from Amazon’s affiliate sellers which was a bit of a surprise. Perhaps only a limited print run was done (note: the paperback version is much cheaper and is not as comprehensive). The hardback, which is the one I bought, is the prized, collectors’ edition.
As books go it’s quite exquisite. Printed in Germany on very thick paper, you could literally lose yourself in this book for hours on end, as I have begun to do. It has everything: letters, memos, contact sheets, ticket stubs, notes, scraps; the lot. At over 500 pages long it really is comprehensive.
I’ve only just begun dipping into it but am really enjoying it. I should also state, at the outset, that it was the blogging of he who lives across the pond that first made me aware of this book which set me on the road to buying it!
Anyway, if you’re into photography you will like this book. On the Waterstones website it mentions something about ‘reprinting available to order’ so you may not have to shell out £100 for it after all. They still list it at £47 though!
Don’t know who Robert Frank was??
First published in France in 1958 and in the United States in 1959, Robert Frank’s The Americans is widely celebrated as the most important photography book since World War II. Including 83 photographs made largely in 1955 and 1956 while Frank (b. 1924) traveled around the United States, the book looked beneath the surface of American life to reveal a profound sense of alienation, angst, and loneliness.
With these prophetic photographs, Frank redefined the icons of America, noting that cars, jukeboxes, gas stations, diners, and even the road itself were telling symbols of contemporary life. Frank’s style—seemingly loose, casual compositions, with often rough, blurred, out-of-focus foregrounds and tilted horizons—was just as controversial and influential as his subject matter.
(Source: National Gallery of Art, Washington DC).
More about Robert Frank on Wikipedia.