Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hidden Gems: Snapshots of America

Nothing captures the essence of an event or place quite like a photograph, snapped at the perfect moment to record forever the beauty of nature, the horror of war, or the surprise of unexpected emotion. Today’s “Hidden Gems” in the NCC Libraries’ collection all feature photographs -- evocative, timeless, astonishing images and memories saved on film.

Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes
by Kyle Cassidy
TR 680 .C385 2007 Stacks

This book will demolish any preconceived notion you may have about the “typical” American gun owner. Arranged like a family photo album, this series of portraits links the faces of real people to the hotly contested meaning of the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

A Handful of Dust: Photographs of Disappearing America
by David Plowden
TR 654 .P57 2006 Stacks

Photographer David Plowden has spent his career documenting the landscape of an America that is gradually vanishing before our eyes: quaint downtown scenes of Main Street; small, family-owned farms; the muscle-bound brawn of heavy industry. For a glimpse of more unique perspectives on our homegrown architecture, check out two more titles by Plowden: Bridges: The Spans of North America and The American Barn.

Juke Joint
by Birney Imes
TR 654 .I42 2002 Stacks

The simplicity of the title says it all: you won’t find any blinking neon, polished wood or shiny chrome in these “hole-in-the-wall” neighborhood bars along the Mississippi River. People come here for two things: to drink a cold beer and hear traditional blues music, which has influenced every popular music style from rock `n’ roll to soul to hip-hop.

Route 66: Images of America's Main Street
by William Kaszynski
E 169.04 .K38 2003 Stacks

Route 66 has taken drivers from Chicago to Los Angeles since the early days of automobile travel, when many sections were not even paved. This legendary roadway meanders through small towns, desert landscapes, and the wide-open spaces for which the American West is famous. So drop the rag top on your imaginary convertible and cruise back to the past, before mechanized cooking in identical chain restaurants replaced the quirky roadside diners that attracted customers with their goofy signs and delicious homemade meals.

Times of Sorrow and Hope: Documenting Everyday Life in Pennsylvania During the Depression and World War II
by Allen Cohen
F 154 .T56 2003 Stacks, Main and Monroe

The Great Depression is often associated with images of farmers displaced by drought conditions in the midwestern Dust Bowl, but this book documents the effect of this economic disaster on ordinary Pennsylvanians. Featuring work by some of America’s best known photographers, including Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange, this book remembers how coal miners, steelworkers, farmers and industrial workers struggled to survive during a dark period in our country’s history.

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