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America, The Beautiful

Culture Watch

If you’re readying for a road trip or just indulging a bit of wanderlust, Taschen’s “The United States of America” is the perfect place to begin your journey. And on the eve of Independence Day, we thought it was the perfect time to take a look at this stately tome.

Travel through time and across the country with this state-by-state tour of the United States over the past 100 years. Culled from one of the most dense photo archives in existence, that of National Geographic, these two volumes are comprised of more than 700 images that chart the last century.

State by state, these remarkable images bring a vivid account of a vast, evolving and diverse country, from breathtaking landscapes to advancing industry, evocative rural life to burgeoning towns and cities. We travel from the ski slopes of Colorado to the jazz bars of New Orleans, from the luxurious Hollywood Hills to a barbershop in Kentucky, and from Manhattan’s Chinatown to a river baptism in Mississippi.

And just as the imagery evolves, so does the technology used to capture it—from black-and-white and autochrome images of the 1920s and 1930s into midcentury Kodachrome, then the harder-edged reportage of the 1970s and 1980s and into the current digital images that began to take form in the 1990s.

With an introductory essay by photography editor David Walker, as well as prefaces to each state section and fascinating storytelling captions, this book celebrates not only the world’s greatest photography magazine but also the people, history, and beauty of the United States in all its kaleidoscopic glory.

 

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