ERIC Number: ED191075
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
A Comparison of Documentary Approaches: Margaret Bourke-White and Erskine Caldwell, Authors of "You Have Seen Their Faces," and Dorothea Lange and Paul S. Taylor, Authors of "An American Exodus."
Two books that use documentary photography to examine social problems--"You Have Seen Their Faces," a 1937 study of Southern sharecroppers by Margaret Bourke-White and Erskine Caldwell, and "An American Exodus," a 1939 examination of the migration of farm families by Dorothea Lange and Paul S. Taylor--are compared in this paper. After relating the purpose and field methods of each of the sets of authors, the paper discusses the photographs, captions, and texts of the books, notes reviewers' reactions, and offers a critique of each book as a whole. It then compares the two books with respect to the elements previously discussed. The paper concludes that (1) Bourke-White and Caldwell destroyed their credibility by making the sharecroppers seem excessively pathetic and wretched, and (2) Lange and Taylor conveyed more information than the other authors, but their book has little emotional impact. It asserts that Bourke-White and Caldwell wanted readers to pity sharecroppers and see how wretched they were, while Lange and Taylor wanted readers to respect and understand their subjects. (GT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A