Test site for my book in progress

Roots of oppression

Cover idea seen as pdf


For literary agents and publisher:
Technical details of proposed coffee table book

I decided to use the layout of my old book, "American Pictures" (
you can download it here for comparison), since it was never published in America, only printed and sold by myself at my university lectures.

My Danish printer has given me this offer to print it for 32 DKr per book for 10,000 copies =  $5,12 per book plus shipping to the US. The quality on glossy photo paper will be similar to my old book which you can leaf through here.
I have myself set up the photos in InDesign made for a finished book in 9,4 x
8 inches (24 x 20,2 cm). However, the small photos and the text would look better if it is expanded an inch in each direction like my previous Steidl art photo book and various museum catalogues such as this one from MOMA Louisiana.
Gallery V1 in Copenhagen - which has sold many of my photos as art and made museum exhibitions all over Europe - came up with the idea of combining my old political book with that of an art photo book in which the best photos are enlarged. This demands more space, so combined with the added chapters about my work with white hate groups, Rockefeller etc., the new book so far is around 450 pages instead of 304 (before the planned Afterword).

A publisher will later decide which pages and chapters to include, alternative layout or other photos from my archive. And the size of the book is of course determined by the cheapest cost and print run for the glossy high quality paper, shelf space in book stores etc.
I have found a good editor of the text,
author Vincent Czyz, but am sure that a publisher in many parts will have other ideas since Vincent Czyz concentrated on proof editing my often too "Danish" sounding language more than its content.
A publisher may want to have an acknowledged present day black author or artist to write a foreword (such as
Arthur Jafa, whose art was inspired by American Pictures).

I have run enough slideshows to know that at least in America my pictures are controversial for many if not combined with the text. Not least as Arthur Jaffa writes for better-off black. So a foreword by a solidaric, but critical (Black Lives Matter) activist such as Sandra Ruffin's in my museum catalogue could also be considered (
I asked her to be as critical as possible in this text).
Updates on the people in the book
One thing people have always liked is that I - contrary to most photographers - have always stayed in touch with the people I started photographing 50 years ago. That way I could in my later lectures present their life stories - all too often from childhood to death - and that way show an important aspect of American history as it evolves. As it will be seen in this book, the "roots of oppression" therefore also means the psychological scars from childhood often in the form of sexual abuse later acted out in destructive patterns.

I had hoped to get room for many of these updates in this book but have chosen to make links to most of them on my website. In many places under the photos or the text I plan to put these links - perhaps as #update-15 or a bar code - so the reader right away can see what l
ater happened to the people such as here with Renee Yates on page 412. But more often presented on pages setup as those in the book so school classes can print them out as extensions of the book.
In the same way I plan under the songs and interviews to make links to the videos of them so the reader can right away listen to them on their mobile devices. Here is the index.
This is also my verification that I am quoting people right such as when serial killers talk about all the blacks they have murdered.

I look forward to discussing all these matters with my publisher. Right now I hope the book can be published fast while the Black Lives Matter and Critical Race Theory is being debated.

Jacob Holdt


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