"American Pictures, without a doubt, has made one of the greatest impressions on me a book is possible of making. Many times I was moved to tears. His accusations of the white middle-class liberals as well as the rich really stung. He confirms our nagging feelings that something is very wrong in our country, and tells us there is no excuse for it." says Gita
"I hate this
book, yet I can not stop reading it. I push it away and try to avoid it,
only to pick it up again, read a few pages, and shove it away in disgust.
I had to read every word. I did not want to, but I could not resist. I
would rather hide in my middle class and pretend I do not know that poverty
exists." says Karen
is an extremely difficult book for any American to read as Holdt does
not hesitate to put much of the blame for our society's injustices on
But every argument,
every brick, is quickly cemented over until we are trapped inside the
prisons alone with ourselves and the pain which comes from knowing and
finally having to face the cruel fact that we are guilty.
In this way American
Pictures allows the reader to be 'reborn' as a thinking, feeling human
being allowing him to see the oppressed as equal human beings and thereby
bring about change for everyone's mutual benefit.
between "American Pictures" and "How The Other Half Lives"
is the attitudes of their author/photographers. Holdt respects his subjects
as individuals, while Jacob Riis despises his subjects as groups. This
is significant because Holdt tries to convince viewers by gaining their
admiration, to change the system. Riis tries the opposite technique, he
uses disgust to instigate social reform."
The deepest and most
scholarly review of the book:
Copyright © 1997 AMERICAN PICTURES;
All rights reserved.