“I SUPPOSE THERE IS PLENTY TO EAT SOMEWHERE IF YOU CAN FIND IT; THE CAT ALWAYS DOES”: YOU HAVE SEEN THEIR FACES, WITH 75 PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE
BOURKE-WHITE, Margaret and CALDWELL, Erskine. You Have Seen Their Faces. New York: Modern Age, 1937. Quarto, original cream cloth, original photographic dust jacket. $1750.
First edition of this pioneering record of a “reality hidden to most Americans,” with 75 black-and-white photogravures of the Dust Bowl by Bourke-White and text by novelist Erskine Caldwell.
"This 'word-and-picture portrait of the share-cropping South' told the truth in both text and image about a reality hidden to most Americans at the time" (Roth, 94). As one of Life magazine's first photojournalists, Bourke-White "helped create and define the look of picture magazines in the United States." During the Dust Bowl, her skillful wedding of two seemingly incompatible styles, a "hard-edged theatrical style partaking of the machine-age esthetic… [and a] no-nonsense style indebted to the Farm Security Administration's photography project. [She brought] into high relief the disparity between industrial society and those displaced by it" (New York Times). "The most commercially successful of American documentary photobooks… and one of the most controversial," the highly influential You Have Seen Their Faces was a collaboration with Bourke-White's future husband, writer Erskine Caldwell (Parr & Badger I:122, 140). Open Book, 124. Penciled owner inscription dated year of publication.
Text and plates fresh, only light scattered foxing mainly to preliminaries, very mild dampstaining to cloth of very good book; small abrasion to front panel affecting Bourke-White's name, small loss to ends of toned spine, faint dampstaining to rarely found very good dust jacket.