The Book  

International bestseller
The book based on the multi-media show is an international bestseller. 

Book cover

Read an online copy of the book here

Read it here as a Flipbook

or download it as a pdf

Or take a look at my new book as it progresses, "Roots of oppression"

Or read my memoirs "On saying yes" about my life before American Pictures and how I young and naive arrived in America and ended up making it.

In Scandinavia it sold per capita the equivalent of 3 million copies in America. In Germany it was the longest running foreign book on the bestseller list ever. 

In its personal and gripping tone many teachers in anthropology, sociology and political science find it an important tool "to help bring human life to the teaching" of their students. 

High lights from the book 
In this illustrated odyssey of 800 photos, the bulk in color, Jacob Holdt describes his experiences at the Wounded Knee uprising, with drug addicts in "shooting galleries", and in projects with welfare mothers. 

He also depicts the friendships he developed with transvestites and transsexuals; the violence and murders he witnessed; his own arrest by the FBI; and his startling encounters with the opposite extreme of American society, including Jay Rockefeller and Ted Kennedy. 

A modern Jacob Riis 
The book is a forceful reminder that the poverty and inhuman living conditions which were so brilliantly exposed a hundred years before by Holdt's fellow Dane, Jacob A. Riis, in his classic study, "How the Other Half Lives," continue to exist. 

Field worker in shack

The book is self-published by American Pictures Foundation in order to enable the homeless or the actual people portrayed in the book to sell it.

The book is now sold out since I - the author - lost too much money selling it that way. The Danish version was in 2016 updated to Obama and waits for an American publisher to re-publish it in But you can read his online version here:

Online virtual book


This page in Danish

    Copyright 1997 AMERICAN PICTURES; All rights reserved.








It is a powerful book  Alex Haley 

To put on the shelf next to Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by Agee and Evans  New York Post 


introduction the show the book
the photos
Sound and video
Jacob Holdt